Barely four days since collapse building claimed more than 100 lives in a Church in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly plenary was yesterday brought to an abrupt end as the House had to hurriedly adjourn when it was noticed that the electrical connections were dysfunctional and threatening. Members of the House defied protocol and ran out panicking. However it took the intervention of the Speaker, Barr Onofiok to call for an immediate adjournment of proceedings for the safety of Lawmakers when the Deputy Leader, Mr Aniekan Bassey confirmed to him that it was not safe for them to continue deliberations.
In a related development, the Lawmakers described last Saturday’s collapse of the building housing the Reigners Bible Church located at Uyo Village road in Uyo, the state capital as a sad commentary in the history of the state.
While commiserating with Governor Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom people and families of victims of the collapsed building, the lawmakers commended the governor for the decision to set up a probe panel to unravel the immediate and remote cause of the incident. The House position is sequel to a matter of information brought before the House by the member representing Ibiono-Ibom State Constituency, Barr Ime Okon at Tuesday plenary, urging the House to commiserate with the government and people of the state, and particularly families directly affected by the unfortunate incident.
In their resolution, the House commended Governor Emmanuel for the pragmatic approach he adopted in ensuring that victims trapped in the rubble were rescued, and also for setting up a committee to investigate the matter.
The House also commended the Nigeria Society of Engineers, NSE, for setting up a committee with a mandate to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the incident, even as the lawmakers reserved further comment on the matter pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
Speaker, Barr. Onofiok Luke who prayed that such sad incident should not repeat itself in the state, thanked the Ibiono Ibom representative for bringing up the matter on the floor of the House.
“As a House we will not make further comments on that, because we will be working on empirical facts. We will be waiting for the outcome of the investigation by Nigeria Society of Engineers, NSE,” Luke said.
A one minute silence was observed by the House in honour of those who lost their lives during the incident, followed by a prayer session led by the House Leader, Sir Udo Kierian who prayed for the quick recovery of the injured, including the Chief Whip of the House, Barr. Emmanuel Ekpenyong Bassey who sustained injuries during the sad incident. The House also prayed God to comfort those who lost their loved ones, friends, and relatives.
Also during plenary, the House commiserated with the people of Etinan, University of Uyo, and the immediate family of an NYSC Member, Ukeme Monday who passed away recently at his place of national assignment.
Ukeme was among the 3 NYSC members who reportedly died recently at their state of national assignment where they were posted to serve. The information of his death was brought before the House by the member representing Etinan State Constituency, Barr Aniefiok Dennis who prayed the House to urge the federal government to ensure that proper investigation was carried out with a view of unraveling the circumstance that led to the death of Ukeme.
The House in a resolution, called on the federal government to expedite action on the investigation, and urged the government to ensure that the matter is not swept under the carpet.
Meanwhile, the House has adjourned plenary to resume on Thursday, 15th December, 2016.