Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has received the report of the Panel of Inquiry into the December 10, 2016 Reigners Church collapse with an assurance of his readiness to implement the recommendations of the report.
He said his government will take the recommendations in the report very seriously and we will do everything to implement and also prevent future occurrence of such tragedy.
Governor Emmanuel frowned at those who went to town spreading rumours that he has been compromised, wondering why people were so desperate to play politics with a tragedy of such magnitude.
“I heard in your address that people were making insinuations that I have been bought by uniformed men. I wonder what price that person will pay that will be equal to people’s lives.”
He advised people against politicizing unfortunate incidents, and said “it shows that these people don’t deserve to express opinions in the public.”
“When that thing happened that day, it did not select members of a particular political party, it didn’t select members of a particular denomination, colour, race, there was no sentiments, it was a tragedy.”
Mr Emmanuel recounted how his seat was smashed during the disaster by the falling central beam, and described his survival as a miracle.
He acknowledged the support of the President and the Minister of Health as well as the state medical team led by the Commissioner for Health for their relentless efforts to save the lives of the injured survivors.
“We thank God for those who got major injuries, some of them we were able to treat, some we are still treating.”
He thanked members of the commission for their sacrifice and again condoled with the families of those that lost their loved ones, praying that such calamity would never reoccur.
Let me once again reassure the chairman and members of this commission of enquiry that certainly, we will understudy this report.
Earlier, the chairman of the judiciary commission of Inquiry, Justice Umoekeyo Essang (rtd), appreciated the governor for trusting them with the assignment without any interference despite insinuations of being bought by uninformed members of the public.
He regretted the late submission of the main report saying the delay was due to logistics which he said affected the submission by the Nigerian Society of Engineers report on the real cause or causes of a collapsed church building.
Justice Essang said the Nigerian Society of Engineers report was finally submitted on June 3, 2017 and has been incorporated into the commission’s report.
The commission condoled with the families of the victims of the Reigner’s Bible Church building collapse, and thanked God for sparing the life of the Governor and others.
The seven member judicial commission of inquiry into the collapsed church building, 2016 was inaugurated by the Governor on December 15, 2016.
The commission could not commence its public sitting until Jan 3, 2017, due to the public holidays as instituted in Christmas and new year and the delay in submission of memoranda from interested persons, organizations and associations.