By Paul Jongas, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent reporting from Nigeria
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Christians in southeastern Nigeria were mourning Monday, November 4, after at least 25 people were killed in a stampede during a massive evangelistic gathering, officials said.
Saturday’s incident at the weekly “crusade”, or gathering, of Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry church in Anambra State, occured at the end of the service, which was attended by some 100,000 people, witnesses said.
Local media reported that the troubles began after Governor Peter Obi and his party’s candidate for governor, Willie Obiano, visited the gathering in the town of Uke, in the state’s Idemili North local government region.
The charismatic Catholic priest speaking at the gathering, Ebube Mmuo Nso, had reportedly told Obi “that the people already knew whom to vote for so they should be left alone.”
Witnesses said Obi and others with him charged into the crowd who booed at them, sparking a stampede. Other survivors also claimed to have heard shouts of “fire” during the stampede.
WOMEN, CHILDREN KILLED
Among the dozens of dead were women and children while others were injured, officials said.
While Christians were mourning, news emerged Monday, November 4, that gunmen in north-eastern Nigeria killed more than 30 people in a attack on a wedding convoy.
It reportedly happened on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road between Bama and Banki in Borno State, east of the regional capital Maiduguri. The groom was said to be among those who died.
Islamist militant group Boko Haram has carried out frequent attacks in the area despite a state of emergency declared in north-east Nigeria in May.
Boko Haram has demanded that Christians leave the north as part of attempts to establish an Islamic state.