No fewer than nine children were confirmed dead and 31 others critically injured when a driver rammed into a procession of Boys Brigade members, celebrating Easter, late Sunday night in Gombe metropolis.
The children were on the annual Easter Rally late Sunday night to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ when an unidentified policeman and Civil Defense personnel came across them around Alheri junction on Biu road in the metropolis.
Eye witness and chairman of the Gombe state Battalion of the Boys Brigade (BB), Isaac Kwadang said the incident happened around 11:30pm Sunday night.
According to him, the policeman and NSCDC officer, though not on official duty, met the procession while passing in their private car and exchanged words with some youth in the procession.
“After exchanging words with the youth, they allowed them to pass. However, they made a U-turn, put off the car’s light and rammed into them from behind, killing eight children on the spot and injuring 31 others.
“The unfortunate action provoked the survivors of the tragedy. Therefore, they chased the security officers, caught up with them and mobbed them to death,” Kwadang said.
He added that they were able to calm the youths and still prevailing on them against further confrontation.
The Chief Medical Director of the state Specialists Hospital, Dr Shuaibu Mu’azu confirmed that about 11 dead bodies from the incident, including the policeman and NSCDC officer have been deposited in the hospital mortuary.
Also, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Mr Godwin Omiko, confirmed the incident, he said the dead bodies were brought to the hospital by his men.
Our correspondent reports that the state Deputy Governor, Mr Charles Iliya had visited the Specialists Hospital to console the victims on admission and condole the parents of the deceased children.
He said the government will take action on the matter and brought whoever is behind it to book, adding that the government will provide free treatment to all the victims.
On his part, the state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Reverend Ibrahim Joda called on the Christians faithful to be patient and remain calm.
He assured them that action will be taken by the government to ensure justice and prevent a future occurrence of the bad incident.
Efforts to get response of the state Police Command proved abortive, as both the state Commissioner of Police, CP Bello Makwashi and the Command’s PPRO, SP Obed Mary Malum refused to either answer several phone calls or reply text messages placed to their mobile lines.