Collapsed Akwa Ibom church building defective — Governor
Posted by News Express | 10 December 2016 | 4,076 times
The church building which collapsed today in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, killing several persons, was defective, the Governor of the State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has said.
Emmanuel, who was attending the service at the Reigners Bible Church International, narrowly escaped death.
He later told reporters: “Accessing this in the face of somebody who is not an engineer, we see a lot of defects in the construction. We will try as much as possible to bring those who were careless about this to book.
“I will make contact immediately both the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a team of engineers here in Akwa Ibom to assess whether there were pure negligence on the part of those that did this.”
He said it was a devastating incident, wondering why it should happen at this time.
“Actually, it is not a good thing and we are really devastated that this could happen. Be rest assured on the part of government, we will do everything possible to make sure that this will never happen again in this state,” he added.
The church located at Uyo Village Road, off Barracks Road, is said to have been filled to the brim as the Pastor, Akan Week, was being consecrated as a bishop when the incident happened.
Sources close to the church added that the church was being renovated and upgraded ahead of the event.
An eyewitness said they were already inside the building when they noticed that the upper part of the building was caving in.
“We saw the building coming down and everybody started running for safety,” she said.
Governor Emmanuel said a panel would be setup to investigate the incident.
A statement later issued by his Chief Press Secretary Ekerete Udoh said: “The Government of Akwa Ibom State has commiserated with the families of victims of a collapsed building at Reigners Bible Church International along Uyo Village road.
“His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel was present at the church during the incident and thereafter personally supervised rescue operations and evacuation of the injured to the hospital. The State Government will undertake the medical treatment of the victims.
“A high- Powered panel of enquiry is being constituted to ascertain the immediate and remote factors leading to the collapse of the church building with a view to forestall the re-occurrence of such incident and bring to book persons found to have compromised professional standards in the construction of the building.
“In the meantime, The Government of Akwa Ibom State is appealing to citizens of the state to remain calm, pray for the injured and avoid undue speculation as the situation is being given the best possible attention.”
•Additional reports from Channels TV.Photo shows the collapsed Reigners Bible Church International, Uyo.