Gov. Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom has promised to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry he constituted to investigate the cause of the collapse of Reigners Bible Church, Uyo last December.
The governor made the pledge on Wednesday in Uyo when he received the report of the eight-member commission of inquiry. The commission chairman, Umoekeyo Essang, retired judge, submitted the report to the governor. The governor inaugurated the commission of inquiry on Dec. 15, 2016.
Thirty worshippers were killed when the church collapsed on Dec. 10, 2016 during the bishopric consecration of the founder of Reigners Bible Church, Akan Weeks. The governor, who was in attendance as the special guest of honour, escaped unhurt, but his Information Commissioner and the Chief Press Secretary were among those who sustained injury.
“The recommendations of this report will be taken very seriously and we will do everything to implement them to forestall future occurrences,” the governor said.
Mr. Emmanuel, who regretted the loss of lives in the unfortunate incident, reiterated the commitment of his administration to the safety and security of the people of Akwa Ibom.
He said the incident demanded maturity and display of strong leadership from him given the shades of meanings read into the tragedy.
Mr. Emmanuel thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Health and the medical team in the state led by the Health Commissioner for their support during the trying moment. He commended the chairman and other members of the commission for their willingness to render service to the state in the period of tragedy.
Submitting the report, the chairman, Mr. Essang, said the commission was hampered by paucity of funds and could not commence public sitting until January 3. He listed other challenges to include Christmas and New Year holidays as well as non-receipt of memoranda from members of the public.
The chairman, who did not mention the total number of memoranda received, commended the state branch of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) for making input into the report.
He said the commission held public sittings for 15 weeks and worked hard to ensure that the final report was completed.
Mr. Essang thanked the governor for the confidence reposed on members of the commission and commiserated with the families of those who lost their loved ones in the tragedy.
He thanked the state government for not interfering in the work of the commission despite insinuations that members were selected to protect the proprietor of the collapsed church.