The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, says he is happy that he was inside the collapsed church building in his state which claimed many lives and injured several others last week.
The governor said his presence and personal intervention helped in effective rescue operation.
“The footsteps of the righteous are ordered by God,” Mr. Emmanuel told thousands of worshipers who gathered, Saturdaynight, in the Uyo Township Stadium for the state-sponsored Christmas Carol festival.
“He took me there to save lives.”
At least 27 people lost their lives, while 37 were injured, according to the police, when an uncompleted building housing the Reigners Bible Church, Uyo, collapsed during a ceremony to enthrone the church founder, Akan Weeks, as a bishop.
One minute silence was observed, during the carol night, in honour of all those who lost their lives in the church building collapse.
“I believe that if I were not there to personally supervise the rescue efforts and mobilise the best possible network of medical experts and rescue workers, the casualties would have been a lot more,” Mr. Emmanuel said, while declaring the carol night open.
Mr. Emmanuel said he wasn’t elected governor to share only in the joy of the people, but to also share in their pains and agony.
“We are all in the same boat.
“I share that grievous pain with everyone on that Black Saturday inside that church. My heart would bleed forever as I recollect the harrowing scene,” the governor said.
Mr. Emmanuel thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and other national leaders for showing solidarity with the state during the incident.
“We will all recover from this tragedy and march on to greatness,” the governor said.
The state government has since set up a panel to investigate the cause of the collapse.
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