Africa

Nigeria stampede: Deaths at Buhari rally in Port Harcourt

Supporters of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at a rally in Port Harcourt. Photo: 12 February 2019 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Tens of thousands of people attended the rally at Port Harcourt's stadium

At least 15 people have been killed in a stampede at a campaign rally for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a hospital spokesman says.

The incident happened at a stadium in the southern city of Port Harcourt when the crowd surged towards a gate after President Buhari's speech.

Mr Buhari is running for a second term in tightly contested elections due to be held on Saturday.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is seen as his main contender.

The two leaders have signed an agreement in the capital, Abuja, pledging to promote peace and follow the legal process if there is a dispute after the vote.

What happened at the rally?

The incident happened after President Buhari delivered his speech shortly after 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Tuesday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium.

Most of the victims are reported to have fallen and been trampled as the crowd tried to force its way through a partially locked gate to follow Mr Buhari as he left the arena.

The bodies of 12 women and three men were taken to the mortuary at the University of Port of Harcourt Teaching Hospital, spokesman Ken Daniel Elebiga said.

Twelve people were admitted for treatment but three have since been discharged, he added.

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Mr Buhari's office said the president had been informed about "the tragic deaths of several members of his All Progressives Congress [APC] party in a stampede".

Main presidential candidates

  • Born in 1942 to a Muslim family in northern Katsina state
  • Former soldier, led military regime in 1980s, remembered for strictness
  • Tardy civil servants had to perform frog jumps in public
  • Won 2015 presidential election, the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent, with promise to beat corruption and Boko Haram insurgents
  • Told wife she belonged in kitchen after she complained in a BBC interview about his government
  • After long absence from illness, had to deny rumours that he had been replaced in public by a lookalike
  • Read full profile
  • Born in 1946 in northern state of Adamawa
  • Co-owner of multinational oil services company that started life in a Lagos shipping container
  • Oversaw privatisations during two terms as vice-president.
  • Fought against corruption charges, describing them as politically motivated
  • Founded American University which gave scholarships to some of the “Chibok girls” that survived Boko Haram kidnapping
  • His father, a devout Muslim, was briefly jailed for trying to stop him from attending a Western-style school
  • Read full profile

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