Following a stampede at the NCS Old Zonal Headquarters in the Yaba neighborhood of Lagos State on Friday that is reported to have resulted in seven fatalities, the Nigeria Customs Service announced on Monday that food sales would no longer be allowed.

The exercise has been suspended, according to a statement released on Monday by Abdullahi Maiwada, Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer for the Comptroller General of Customs.

The Nigeria Customs Department announced that it would be selling food items that had been seized for N10,000 per 25kg in an effort to lessen the suffering caused by the country’s high cost of living and other financial difficulties.

A pregnant woman and six other people are said to have perished in a stampede on Friday following an attempt by some alleged thugs to break into the Yaba Customs office compound.

Some of the many Lagos residents who flocked to the NCS office in Yaba on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the initiative’s suspension.

A large crowd, including some elderly people, was waiting in line to purchase rice at the gate when our correspondent visited the Customs office at Yaba on Monday.Despite the officers’ persistent efforts to inform the public that the service was sold out.

One of the prospective purchasers, identified as Toyin Oke-Owo, urged President Bola Tinubu to find a long-term solution to the nation’s economic hardship in an interview.”I have been here since eight a.m.,” she stated. There would be no rice once more, they said.

It is the morning after and I have not eaten. Please help us inform the President of our hunger.”They stated that since some people passed away here, they would not sell it. They have been using a cane to chase us off. I am hungry.

I made my child some cassava flour to drink for breakfast this morning.”Please, help us to beg them that they should distribute what they have to those of us who have been here since morning,” said another woman, Adesola Odefunso.”

Compared to those who visited us on Friday, we are fewer in number. Assist us in pleading for rice from them. It is five am when we arrived here.

Because of this rice, we had trouble sleeping the entire night.Meanwhile, the NCS said in a statement on Monday night that “the recent unfortunate event” made the suspension necessary.

“Unfortunately, we must announce that this exercise will be suspended until we can determine exactly what happened on Friday, February 23, 2024,” an NCS spokesperson stated.

He gave the following explanation: “At around 0800hrs, the food item disposal got off to a smooth start.” We were grateful for the large number of Nigerians who cooperated with us, giving priority to the elderly, the disabled, expectant mothers, and other vulnerable people.As reported by the media and more than 5,000 beneficiaries, this was the situation up until around 1700 hours.

Regrettably, however, unanticipated difficulties emerged when we ran out of stock and declared that the exercise would continue the next day.

“Desperate to find rice bags inside empty containers, the crowd broke through our barricades. Unfortunately, a few deaths and injuries were reported from the ensuing stampede.In an unfortunate incident, the Customs department sent its “heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.

“In order to get in touch and work directly with the families of the victims on their next steps, the service said that it was collaborating with health authorities.

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