Nigeria Customs and Displaying Empathy for Stampede Victims, by Abdulsalam Mahmud

Nigeria Customs and Displaying Empathy for Stampede Victims, by Abdulsalam Mahmud
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Bashir Adewale Adeniyi
The Comptroller-Basic of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Bashir Adewale Adeniyi


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Nigeria Customs and Displaying Empathy for Stampede Victims, by Abdulsalam Mahmud

In Lagos State this 12 months, one thing tragic occurred. It was a stampede that claimed some lives. The occasion that led to the ugly incident was the distribution of rice baggage by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, to Lagos residents at a reduced worth.

This got here at a time the prevailing financial hardship had began taking its toll on Nigerians, manifesting in starvation throughout the land. Then, pockets of road protests over irritating starvation and biting financial system circumstances have been staged in Minna and Suleja cities in Niger State. Ditto in Kano State.

Within the wake of the tragedy that terminated some residents’ desires, the Comptroller Basic of Customs, CGC, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, ordered the momentary suspension of the exercise. He additionally commiserated with victims of the tragedy.

In an announcement launched by Abdullahi Maiwada, the spokesperson for the Customs Service, Adeniyi, (then) stated: “The Nigeria Customs Service extends its heartfelt condolences to the households of those that misplaced their lives in the course of the unlucky incident. Our ideas and prayers are with the affected households throughout this difficult time, and we guarantee them of our unwavering assist. We’re working with Hospital Authorities to determine contact and have interaction immediately with the victims’ households on their subsequent steps. Following this incident, an inside investigation was initiated to grasp the circumstances surrounding this unlucky occasion.

“As a service deeply dedicated to the welfare and security of Nigerians, we acknowledge the necessity for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. Contemplating the latest unlucky occasion, we regrettably announce the suspension of this train till we set up what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024. This could assist us to correctly articulate extra sturdy and complete motion that won’t defeat the noble intention. We admire the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work in the direction of addressing the challenges dealing with our nation’s meals safety”.

In keeping with the Customs helmsman, their NCS, in February, introduced the graduation of a noble intervention geared toward assuaging the hardships confronted by Nigerians and enhancing entry to important meals objects, by direct disposal of seized edible items condemned in competent courts of legislation and authorized match for consumption by related authorities companies.

This adopted a directive by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he stated. Adeniyi added: “Consequently, a pilot train was carried out on Friday, 23 February 2024, at NCS Outdated Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos state.

“The train was carried out following meticulous planning to handle all potential dangers that will emerge in the course of the train. As a part of our course of and management measures, we had Nigeria Police and navy personnel to make sure crowd management.

“We additionally totally outfitted a medical crew on floor in anticipation of potential dangers throughout an train of that magnitude. Their presence was a part of our proactive strategy to making sure the security and well-being of all members.

“The disposal of the meals objects bought off to a clean begin at about 0800hrs. We loved the cooperation of the big crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the aged, individuals residing with disabilities, pregnant girls, and different susceptible Nigerians who confirmed up for the train. This was the case up till about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press.

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“Nevertheless, unexpected challenges arose once we ran out of inventory and introduced the continuation of the train the next day, resulting in a regrettable consequence. The gang turned determined and charged by our barricades looking for rice baggage inside emptied containers. Within the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and accidents have been regrettably recorded”.

It’s heartwarming that the Customs has not deserted victims of the catastrophe. This exhibits that the company nonetheless regrets the traumatic stampede occasion, and maybe, has already put in place vital mechanisms to checkmate its recurrence.

Final Friday, the NCS reached out to the household of Susan Odulaja, one of many victims of the tragic stampede that occurred in the course of the sale of 25kg baggage of rice in Lagos on February 23, 2024. Adeniyi despatched a delegation led by the Assistant Comptroller-Basic of Customs/Zonal Coordinator Zone “A,” Hammi Swomen, to go to the household in Jibowu, Lagos.

In the course of the go to, the Zonal Coordinator expressed the NCS’s deepest condolences to the household, stating, “We bear in mind the unlucky incident that led to the lack of 4 valuable lives in the course of the disposal of 25kg baggage of rice at a lowered worth of N10,000. We’re right here to assist this household and show our dedication to their well-being.”

This go to marks the second time the NCS has reached out to the household, demonstrating the service’s dedication to displaying compassion and empathy to these affected by the tragedy. “We’re right here on behalf of the Comptroller-Basic of Customs to assist this household. That is our second go to, however it’s to show our continued assist to the household,” he defined.

In response, Odulaja appreciated the Customs representatives for his or her go to and assist. He stated, “I thank God and the Nigeria Customs Service for his or her assist. Any assist that they offer us, I’ll be sure that I exploit it correctly and make investments it within the youngsters.”

With out mincing phrases, the NCS delegation’s go to to the Odulaja household in Jibowu, was a profound demonstration of solidarity and assist. So as to add, the heartfelt condolences prolonged by the NCS management to the grieving household underscored nothing, however its real concern and empathy for these affected by the tragic incident.

It’s noteworthy that the Swomen-led delegation’s go to was not an remoted act of kindness. Quite, it’s a continuation of the NCS’s ongoing efforts to offer help and luxury to the households of the stampede victims.

The NCS, by returning for a second time, has reaffirmed its steadfast dedication to standing by the affected households, providing not solely phrases of solace, however tangible assist of their time of want.

Moreover, Swomen’s pledge to collaborate with the Odulaja household and supply ongoing assist displays the NCS’s proactive strategy to addressing the repercussions of the tragedy. By pledging its continued help and engagement, the Nigeria Customs hopes to ease the burden carried by the bereaved household, giving them a way of solidarity and reassurance amidst their sorrow.

The reciprocal gratitude expressed by Michael Odulaja, the widower, can be vital. It highlights the large worth of the NCS’s outreach efforts. If something, Odulaja’s heartfelt appreciation for the assist prolonged by the NCS serves as a testomony to the tangible distinction such acts of kindness could make within the lives of these affected by tragedy.

Above all, the Nigeria Customs, by actively participating with the affected households and collaborating with hospital officers, is demonstrating its proactive strategy to addressing the aftermath of the tragedy, with a view to making sure that these impacted obtain the care and help they want. In any other case, navigating by this difficult time will probably be an uphill activity for them.

*Mahmud is the Deputy Editor of PRNigeria, and wrote in through: [email protected].*

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