Police in Nigeria are investigating a road rage incident resulting in several deaths and injuries of children participating in an Easter Sunday parade after an angry driver allegedly plowed his car into the procession for blocking the road, several news outlets reported this week.
BBC revealed, “The driver, an off-duty security agent, was unhappy that the procession had blocked the road, some reports say.”
The incident, which resulted in the death of 11 people and the injury of more than 30 others, mainly children, took place in the northeastern town of Gombe, the capital of a state of the same name.
“No details have been released about the victims but the Boys Brigade members are aged between six and 22,” BBC revealed. However, The Cable, a Nigerian news outlet, reported that at least eight of the fatalities were children.
China’s state-run news agency Xinhua added that the children were members of the interdenominational Christian group known as the Boys Brigade, which was holding an annual Easter Sunday procession in Gombe.
“The driver attempted to escape from the scene of the accident but was chased and mobbed by passers-by,” Xinhua noted.
Authorities identified the driver as Adamu Abdullahi, a member of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Isaac Kwadang, the chief of the Boys Brigade branch in Gombe, accused the driver of ramming into the procession “on purpose.”
“The driver of the car had a heated argument with the children before they made way for him to pass, only for him, in a fit of rage, to turn and drive into them,” Kwadang told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency.
Adams Borkono, the state chairman of the Boys Brigade, added:
After exchanging words with the youth, they allowed them to pass. However, the [off-duty security agent] who was driving the car made a u-turn, switched off his car’s light and rammed into them from behind, killing eight children on the spot and injured 31 others.
The unfortunate action provoked other survivors from the tragedy. Therefore they chased the security officers, caught up with them and mobbed them to death.
Citing witnesses, BBC noted that the heinous act prompted a crowd to turn on the driver “and beat him and his passenger to death.”
In a statement, Police Chief Mohammed Abubakar Adamu said the incident was an “unfortunate fatal motor accident,” claiming that the driver lost control of his vehicle.
Authorities have ordered an investigation into the deadly event.