Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Two pregnant women collapsed and died in Bauchi on Tuesday while waiting to be screened by the verification team from the Office of the Accountant General of the Bauchi State government.
The two pregnant women were among the about 6,000 teachers in the state who were asked to assemble at the state government education secretariat for screening before collecting their salaries.
An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity, told THISDAY that the first woman who was about seven months pregnant, fainted when the crowd were pushing to be verified, a situation that triggered a congestion during the exercise.
According to him: “We all assembled at the local government education authority to be verified because we have not been paid for three months. People came from the local government areas of the state so there was a massive crowd that gathered at the venue”
“The verification exercise took us by surprise because we were in the classroom teaching when we were called upon to be screened. That was why there was a large turnout of people”
“Some of the people who came early were lucky enough to be verified, but as the crowd kept increasing, people began to push each other, not minding who was standing close .In the process, an unidentified pregnant woman fainted and went into a coma”
Speaking further on the issue, another eyewitness called Abubakar Yusuf, said: “As we were yet to recover from the tragic incident that befell the first woman teacher, another pregnant woman collapsed and had a miscarriage instantly. The two pregnant women were rushed to the hospital for treatment. We later heard that they died.”
Yusuf then called on the state government to ease the sufferings teachers are experiencing during verification exercises by finding other alternative methods that would not lead to congestion of workers.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the exercise, describing it as excruciating for their age and health conditions.