Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has alleged that over 350 human lives were lost when the roof of the Reigners Bible Church, located in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, caved in during the Bishopric enthronement of its founder, Mr. Akan Weeks, on December 10, 2016.
Akpabio, a serving Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in Nigeria’s Senate, made this known in Ukanafun Local Government Area, on Friday, during the governorship campaign of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
His allegation contradicts the 28 and 29 casualties’ figures issued by the state government and the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, respectively.
His claim however corroborates claims by Prof. Etete Peters of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), who reportedly told newsmen on the heels of the incident that, “we (UUTH) can’t really tell how many people have died so far. We so far have over 200 persons in the mortuaries. We do not have space, as people are still being brought in.”
Senator Akpabio said the state government deliberately refused to list children among the casualties, and alleged that about 61 corpses of children were dumped in a ravine.
He faulted his successor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel’s handling of the incident, adding that it could have been averted if relevant government agencies performed their responsibilities.
Speaking further, he said the incident and insecurity in Ukanafun prove that the governor has failed in his sworn responsibility of safeguarding lives and properties of Akwa Ibom people.
Akpabio decried that insecurity in Ukanafun has led to loss of lives and displacement of over 2,500 persons.
Drumming support for all APC candidates in the 2019 elections, he said his party will bring peace to Ukanafun.
Listing his efforts at bettering the welfare of Ukanafun people, Senator Akpabio said he has offered scholarship to 30 students, empowered 45 persons with startup capital worth N250000 each, trained women and youths in various vocations, construction of solar powered borehole at Odoro Ikot, construction of classroom blocks and market stalls.
(C) Ofonime Honesty (orbitngr.com)