Church Collapse: Ambode, Ayade, Others Commiserate with A’Ibom Govt, Families of Victims

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• FG dispatches medical experts to A’Ibom to assist victims of collapsed church

Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

More condolence messages have continued to pour in over the tragic collapse of the Reigners Bible Church building in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State last Saturday, as Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, his Cross River Statecounterpart, Professor Ben Ayade and the Chairman of the Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), have commiserated with the state government and the families of victims who lost their lives in the incidence.

The governor in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said it was most unfortunate that the victims lost their lives while worshipping God.

“It is indeed an unfortunate incident and words cannot really express our sadness as a government over the loss of several lives, who have become victims of an incident they know nothing about. It is indeed a pathetic situation and we can only express our condolence and commiserate with the bereaved families over this incident,” the governor said.

On his part, Ayade expressed deep sadness over the unfortunate incident, leading to loss of lives.
In a condolence message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Christian Ita, he said he was grief-stricken by the tragedy.
The governor was however, thankful to God for sparing the life of the Akwa Ibom State governor, whom he called brother.

“My dear brother, I am shocked by the news of the horrific death of some of our brothers and sisters at the Reigners’ Bible Church who went to commune with the Almighty God.”
Ayade, who prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed in the tragedy, conveyed the sorrows and sympathies of his government and people.

Similarly, Ndoma-Egba commiserated with Governor Emmanuel on the tragic incidence of the collapse of the church International in Uyo, which occurred on December 10, 2016 claiming the lives of scores of worshipers.

The chairman wished the injured, speedy recovery and prays for the peaceful repose of the souls of the faithful departed. He prayed that the Almighty God grants their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Also, the immediate past Leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Okpolupm Etteh. has expressed sadness at the collapse of the building of Reigners Bible Church and the loss of lives and injuries suffered by worshipers.

The former House Leader, who had a firsthand experience of the incident alongside his Personal Assistant, Mr. Ekong Ukot, condoled with the state government, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the bereave families.
He described the incident as horrible and a great test of faith to the Christendom given that the accident took place when the church building was filled with worshipers who came from all walks of life to celebrate with the founder of the church, as he mounts the exalted office of a Bishop.

Etteh, who offered prayer of thanksgiving at Insight Bible Church on Sunday for Governor Emmanuel, state government and the family of those who lose their loved ones, urged the people of the state to be strengthened and comforted by Almighty God.

Meanwhile, the state chapters of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have continued to appeal to indigenes of the state for more blood donation to the victims of the incident.

The health union wants more medical expert to visit various hospitals and clinics in the state to offer assistance to the people who are still in need of blood and attention.

“Members of the public willing to donate blood are to visit approved blood banks in the state as the situation has created emergency situation that needs humanitarian services for the people.”The state Chairman of NMA, Aniekeme Uwah, said doctors in the state have been mobilised to respond to the disaster situation which he was remains the worst in the history of the state.

He said “In order to aid the response team carry out her duty of responding to the mass casualty and to save the lives of our people, I hereby call on all well -meaning citizens to rise up to the occasion of being our brothers’ keepers by voluntarily donating blood needed for transfusion,”

“I call on all the survivors who had suffered any form of trauma to report to the various health facilities for proper medical examination as blunt injuries could lead to internal bleeding and avoidable deaths.

“I assure all the members of the public, that as a responsible and proactive association, we will not rest on our oars until all the lives of the survivors are saved and they are discharged from the hospitals back to their families.”

However, the federal government yesterday dispatched a team of medical expert to Akwa Ibom State to compliment the efforts of other medical personnel in the state in tackling the health need of victims of last Saturday church building collapse in Uyo, the state capital.

The federal government health officials is a-10 member team of expert neuro surgeon with Professor Suleiman Giwa, a Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon from University of Lagos as leader.

Giwa, who spoke briefly on arrival at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital in the evening, said the team was put together on the instruction of the Minister of Health, Professor Adewole, to come and render helping hand.
The special federal government medical experts, consist of two neuro surgeon, three orthopaedic surgeons, three plastic surgeon and two specially trained operating room nurses.
The leader of the team maintained that health specialists are in the state to render necessary assistance and support needed for the victims of the collapsed church building.

His words: “The unfortunate incident as you are aware did not affect only the people of Akwa Ibom but all Nigerians and the health minister in his wisdom decided that we should raise a team of expert to come to Uyo and render a helping hands and bring succor to the weak, the sick and those who are in dare need of complicated surgery.”

“As we are here in Akwa Ibom, we did not come empty handed we came with drugs and other medical supports to make our coming easier, and we are prepared for the task ahead.

According to him, the team will visit all the hospitals where victims of the tragedy were admitted and also examine them and offer useful medical suggestions where necessary to ensure that those who are sick get back to their normal life.

“We have visited the University Teaching Hospital and we are now on our way to Ibom specialist Hospital, so far most of the patients we saw are responding to treatment which is gladdening, “ he added.

Receiving the team, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Professor Etete Peters, lauded the federal government for dispatching the medical team to the state.
He said the medical team at the most appropriate time not leaving the state alone in time of sorrow and assured them of full cooperation of personnel on ground.