Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State Senator Godswill Akpabio has faulted the claim by the state governor Mr Udom Emmanuel that the state has enjoyed relative peace during his administration alleging that over 350 lives were lost during the Reigners’ Bible Church collapse in December 2015.
Akpabio said when the roof of the 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, “over 350 died, 61 children’s corpses dumped in ravine’.
Akpabio, a senator representing Akwa Ibom North west senatorial district, made this known in Ukanafun local government area Friday during the governorship campaign of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said the Governor Emmanuel-led 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’s handling of the incident, adding that it could have been averted if relevant government agencies had performed their responsibilities.
It would be recalled that the state government had declared 28 deaths while the police command issued a statement declaring 29 deaths after rescue operation.
Akpabio’s statement corroborated claims by Professor Etete Peters the then Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), who reportedly told newsmen shortly after the incident: “we (UUTH) can’t really tell how many people have died so far. We so far have over 200 persons in the mortuary. We do not have space, as people are still being brought in.”
Speaking on the spate of killings in the state the former governor lamented that the insecurity in Ukanafun prove that the governor has failed in his sworn responsibility of safeguarding lives and property of Akwa Ibom people.
Akpabio decried that insecurity in Ukanafun saying that it 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 would bring peace to Ukanafun.