The All Progressives Congress, APC, has blamed the governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, for the death of some 30 crusaders in a stampede early Saturday morning in Uke, Idemili north local government area of the state.
The party’s interim national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, reasoned that if Obi and the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA,Willie Obiano, had not turned the praying ground to a campaign ground, the ugly incident that ensued would not have happened.
The party said while there was nothing wrong in a state governor attending a vigil, such visit should not be impromptu in order for the organizers to make the necessary security arrangements.
It added that such visit should not have been used as a licence to engage in political campaign.
The party also condemned the move of the governor to set up a panel to investigate the stampede, saying it would amount to presiding over a case that one is involved in.
“Considering that the Governor himself is at the centre of the whole tragedy, setting up a panel to investigate the cause of the stampede will amount to seeking to be a judge in your own case. The only cause of the stampede is the Governor’s ill-advised visit to the vigil,” the statement said.
It continued: “The simple truth is that there would have been no stampede if Governor Obi had not come to the vigil or, even if he had come, had not attempted to politicize the gathering that was meant strictly for prayers.”
The APC warned the governor to desist from imposing a candidate on the state against the wish of the people.
The Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry in its usual practice organised a crusade to mark entrance into a new month and hundreds of worshippers who attended the programme booed at the governor and Obiano when they tried to launch a campaign, resulting in a stampede as security details attached to Obi tried to defend their boss.
The police is yet to give an official figure of casualty more than 24 hours after the incident.