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Palliative Mishap: Children sent to study, challenged by hunger, lost their lives due to national unproductivity – Obi laments

…As Govt orders investigation into death


Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi has lamented that children sent to study in a university, challenged by hunger, have lost their lives because of “our national unproductivity”.

Obi in a post on his X page, lamented while reacting to the death of students who died during rice distribution in Nasarawa state.

Recall, on Friday, three students of Nasarawa State University in Keffi (NSUK) died in a stampede that occurred during the distribution of rice donated by the state government.

Obi mourned, “tragic happenings have become our daily companions as a people”.

“Somehow, disheartening and tragic happenings have become our daily companions as a people. In yet another very sad development, I am disheartened by the reports of the death of some students from Nasarawa State University (NSUK) in a stampede while struggling for food palliative from the state government,” Obi wrote.

“The very worsening level of hunger in our nation has continued to claim the lives of innocent citizens.

“This is, unfortunately, happening in a country that is richly blessed in human and natural resources, with vast arable lands for agriculture.

“Nigeria should have no business with hunger and poverty if we the leaders were caring enough. It is unimaginable how we have sadly descended to a level where people now take unthinkable risks in order to survive.

“Now again, our children who were sent to study in a university, challenged by hunger, have lost their lives because of our national unproductivity.

“I do hope that these ugly incidents will nudge our government into taking urgent measures to end the current food insecurity, by moving the nation from consumption to production.

“Time has come for Nigerians to unite in purpose and solve the challenges facing us. Hunger, as I have maintained, knows no tribe or religion.

“I commiserate with the bereaved families of the deceased students, the entire Nasarawa State University and the government of Nasarawa State over this painful incident. May God give all of us the fortitude to bear this loss and grant them eternal rest.”

Meanwhile, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has initiated a thorough investigation into the tragic incident which claimed the lives of some students and left 23 others injured on Friday following the distribution of palliatives by the university, provided by the state government.

Regrettably, some students reportedly overpowered the available security personnel, triggering a stampede which resulted in fatalities and injuries as they sought to obtain the distributed food items meant to help alleviate economic hardships faced by students.

Expressing profound shock and sorrow over the loss of lives, Governor Sule conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased students, lamenting the untimely demise of promising young individuals under such distressing circumstances.

He said, “I pray their souls rest in peace. Our thoughts and condolences go to their families and friends at this moment of grief. These young people’s lives cut short at their prime under such circumstances is painful.”

Governor Sule has instructed the authorities of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, along with relevant security agencies, to promptly commence an exhaustive investigation to identify those responsible for the unfortunate incident.

In the wake of the tragedy, Deputy Governor Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe conducted a fact-finding mission to the university and visited the injured students to assess the situation firsthand.

“Engr. Sule had come up with the widely applauded initiative to distribute rice and N5,000 cash each to students in all tertiary institutions in the state,” the statement also read.

“Such distribution was a huge success and peacefully carried out by Federal University, Lafia, Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, Lafia, College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, the School of Nursing, Lafia, as well as the College of Education, Akwanga.

“Others are the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, and the College of Health Technology, Keffi.”

Amidst calls for calm, Governor Sule reaffirmed his administration’s unwavering commitment to continue distributing palliatives to alleviate the hardships faced by students and the people of Nasarawa State.


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