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Fire disaster at Iwuokpum pathetic, says Akwa Ibom State Governor

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Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel has described the fire disaster at Iwuokpum community in Ibeno Council as pathetic and unfortunate.

He made the remark yesterday when he visited the scene of the inferno to commiserate with the victims of the tragedy.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the governor promised to salvage the community from its present predicament, while sympathising with families of the victims.

The Iwuokpom fire disaster destroyed over 2,000 houses and rendered over 4,000 people homeless in the community.

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Expressing shock over the level of devastation and pain the inferno caused the community, he assured the victims of his administration’s support and commitment to give them a new lease of life.

The governor commended the villagers’ concerted efforts in putting off the wild fire without any loss of life or injury, even without the help of the state’s fire officials.

He assured the fishermen whose houses were destroyed by the inferno of his administration’s readiness to provide adequate funds and necessary support to effectively assuage their pains.

Said the SSG: “Governor Emmanuel is a listening, compassionate and very responsive leader, whom at any time is having the people at heart. Unfortunately, he is engaged in another official assignment outside the state.

“Our coming here on his directive is to ascertain the level of damage for possible rapid action to ensure the sufferings and pains of Iwuokpum people caused by the inferno is assuaged. This indicates the governor’s love for his people.”

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Aviation Development, Mr. Okpolupm Etteh, who is an indigene of the area, sympathised with the people whom he said were peaceful, loving and hardworking.

He encouraged the fishing settlement to remain calm while awaiting government’s rapid attention and support.

“Governor Emmanuel is a man whose words are his bond. He is not happy that this unwholesome incidence happened, hence our coming to help map out measures through which those affected can be assisted and the area rebuilt,” he said.

Earlier, the village head of Iwuokpum village, Chief Okon Akpanowung, who spoke on behalf of the community, appealed to the governor for a speedy donation of relief materials to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims.

Iwuokpom residents are predominantly fishermen, and the area engulfed by fire was popularly called ‘Yoruba Quarters’.

Lost to the inferno include thousands of fishing nets, hundreds of canoe boats, uncountable outboard engines and houses.


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