Akwa Ibom Church Collapse: How Governor Narrowly Escaped DeathGovernor Udom Emmanuel on Saturday, December 10, narrowly escaped death after a church building collapsed during service.
The pastor of Reigners Bible Church, Akan Weeks, was being consecrated as a Bishop when the tragedy struck.
According to the account of a policeman, who was present at the church on the fateful day, the Governor was seated near the altar while the collapse started from the edge.
Emmanuel was said to be in the ordination service with his deputy. The police source also claimed that one of the Governor's aides died while shielding his boss from the falling debris with about 90 people reportedly died in the incident.
In a statement issued by his personal assistant, Mr. Ekerette Udoh, commiserated with the families of the victims and ordered an immediate investigation into the tragedy.
The statement reads:
"The Government of Akwa Ibom State has commiserated with the families of the victims of the 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 service 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."
It was gathered that the collapse began after one of the church's pillars gave way. The building is said to be located on a slope.