Catholic Church On Stampede At Holy Ghost Adoration Centre, Uke, Anambra State
ONITSHA - In the early hours of Saturday, November 02, 2013, there was a stampede moments after prayers at the Holy Ghost Adoration Centre, Uke, in Idemili South LGA of Anambra State. The stampede, which occurred while people were going home, resulted in the loss of some lives. Some are still injured and receiving treatments in some hospitals.
Vigil was usually held at the centre on every first Friday of the month. The crowd at the centre was unprecedented on this first Friday of November 2013 probably because it was the Solemnity of All Saints and a holy day of obligation for Catholic faithful.
Save for the unprecedented crowd, the vigil started and ended normally. The stampede was reportedly caused by a false alarm raised by somebody in the crowd along one of the narrow roads out of the town. The crowd was so much that people wanting to leave all at the same time made it very difficult for people to find enough space to move. This happened in just one of the roads out of the town.
The outpouring of concerns and supports with regard to the incident has been tremendous. The Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. valerian Okeke, is still deeply saddened by this ugly incident. He has visited the dead in the morgue and the injured in the hospitals. His heart goes out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the incident. He promises his closeness to them and all the faithful of the Holy Ghost Adoration Centre, Uke, and especially the Spiritual Director of the Centre, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma, who is hard hit by the ugly incident.
Full investigations have been launched into the matter and more efforts are being made to protect the lives of all worshippers at the centre.
The Archdiocese of Onitsha remains very grateful to the many volunteers who swung into action immediately saving as many lives as possible. We also thank the management and staff of the various hospitals where the injured were sent immediately for treatment. They have been wonderful. We remain grateful to you all for your closeness and sympathies at this difficult moment.
May the dead through the mercy of God rest in peace, amen.