An Eye witness has given account of how an aide to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state who rescued him died in the collapse of the Reigners Bible Church, Uyo.
The aide, whose name was given as Ernest Idem, reportedly died while rescuing the governor, according to a report by Premium Times.
Various casualty figures are being given from the incident which occurred the day the founder of the church, Akan Weeks, was to be made a bishop.
The governor had attended the event as a special guest with his aides and some commissioners shortly before the building collapsed.Premium Times quoted Ubong Mboho, an evangelist, as saying he saw how the governor’s aide died while rescuing his boss.
Mboho was quoted as saying: “He (the governor’s aide) was standing close to the governor. I saw him push the governor away from danger when the building started falling.”
But the aide could not make it as he was hit by an iron beams and he died instantly.
The report said Idem was from Ibesikpo-Asutan local government area and worked with Zenith Bank before joining the protocol unit of the government.
Mboho said he joined the rescue team and was able to save his father, an archbishop, who was seriously injured in the incident.
He also revealed how he saved Emmanuel Ekpenyong, the chief whip of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly.
“The iron pillar had fallen on his leg. I had to rush to our bus for hydraulic jack which I used in lifting the iron (beam) before we could pull his leg out.
“He was in great pains and was screaming ‘My leg! My leg! My leg!’ while we were making effort to rescue him,” said Mr. Mboho.
He denied claims that the event later held.
Meanwhile Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state has commiserated with the Akwa Ibom state government and the families of victims who lost their lives in the incident.
Ambode, in a condolence message signed by his chief press secretary, 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.
“My heart goes out to the families of victims who lost their lives in this most unfortunate incident as well as to my brother governor, His Excellency Udom Emmanuel whom providence had spared in the mishap. This is a most trying time and I offer my deepest commiseration with him,” the statement read.
Ambode also prayed that Almighty God will grant peaceful repose to the souls of those killed in the incident and speedy recovery to those injured.