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Customs visits family of woman who died during rice stampede in Lagos

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Friday again visited the family of one of those who died in the stampede which occurred during the distribution of palliative rice in Lagos in February.

The NCS delegation was led by Hammi Swomen, an Assistant Controller-General of Customs.

Commiserating with the deceased’s family at Empire Area of Lagos, Swomen expressed the condolences of the Customs Comptroller General, Wale Adeniyi, to the family.

“We came to pay a condolence visit to one of victims of government rice palliative distribution and this is the second time we are checking on their welfare.

“You remember the unfortunate incident that happened when customs got approval of President Bola Tinubu to support Nigerians by selling 25kg par boiled rice at a reduced price of N10,000.

“Unfortunately, we had a stampede outside our premises after the exercise and that led to the incident; right now, we have confirmed four family are affected.

“We are here on behalf of the Comptroller-General, Mr Bashir Adeniyi, to continuously show our support to this family.

“We have been here before, this is our second time of coming and the deceased family has visited our office too,” Swomen said.

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He said that the service was not unmindful of the effect of this loss, adding that customs had pledged to support the four deceased families continuously.

Swomen said they decided to continuously check on the family to ease the trauma they were going through.

He assured that the Customs management would continue to engage in concrete terms with the families of the victims.

Michael Odulaja, the husband to the deceased, commended both financial and moral support given by the customs management.

Odulaja, in tears, recounted the vacuum his wife, late Susan Odulaja, had left for the family.

“She left five children. It is not easy to loose a caring and understanding wife. Since she had died, I have never been myself.

“My wife was too helpful because I don’t know how much a man can give a woman, woman is still the owner of the house.

“Since her death, we could not get ourselves because she had been there for her family, ” Odulaja said.

“I thank God and I also thank the Customs Service for their continuous support,” Odulaja said.

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He promised to use the financial support given to them by customs to pursue the education of his children.

NAN reports that The Nigeria Customs Service suspended its rice disposal initiative following a stampede that claimed seven lives on Feb. 23.

The incident was during the distribution of 25kg bags of rice at its Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos State.(NAN).

Aisha Cole
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