One person has been confirmed dead and about 15 persons injured following the collapse of St. Paul Catholic Church, Adagbrasa-Ugolo, Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State on Sunday.
The incident took place at about 7am when parishioners had just ended the morning prayers for the parish priest to commence the Sunday mass.The deceased, Jeffrey Jackson, an 11-year-old boy, was trapped while trying to escape from the collapsed building.
It was learnt that the collapse was as a result of a new building being erected around the old one.The incidence occurred when some parishioners rested on the wall of the uncompleted building which gave way owing to the pressure on the wall.
The 15 injured persons have been rushed to hospitals for medical attention while some were still trapped in the unfortunate incident as at the time of filing in this report.The State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, who visited the scene of the incident and the hospitals where the injured are receiving treatment, said the state government would foot their medical bills.
Governor Okowa who despatched Augoye to visit the site with a view to unravelling the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the building and how government can come to the aid of the injured worshippers and the church has expressed sadness over the death.The Governor who expressed sympathy in a statement issued on Sunday in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu, described the unfortunate incident as a sad, unfortunate and regrettable experience.
Okowa, who prayed for the repose of the departed faithful and condoled with the family of the deceased, said: “This is indeed a very sad and unfortunate incident. On behalf of the Government and people of Delta State I commiserate with the family of the deceased and those injured, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chairman of Okpe Local Government Council, Chief Julius Scott, the Orodje of Okpe, HRM, Orhue 1, Major Gen. Felix Mujakperuo (retd) and the entire Ugolo community in Okpe Kingdom over the unfortunate incidence.
“It is our prayer that the soul of the deceased will rest in peace, and that the injured will experience quick recovery. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with the people of Ugolo in Okpe Kingdom over this tragedy”.The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, DSHA, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye are from Okpe.
Also, Governor Okowa has extended his condolences to the family of former Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan, who died in an auto crash alongside his son, Tammy, and police orderly at Akinima, in Ahoada West local government area along the East West Road.
Aniagwu also said Governor Okowa received with sadness, the death of the politician and extended heartfelt condolences to the Ijaw nation, his party, All Progressives Congress, (APC) over the loss.“I was shocked to hear of the passing of Pastor P.Z. Aginighan. He will be missed by thousands of people whom he had assisted in one way or the other, adding, “His role in politics and the development of his community, State and nation will remain an inspiration for other political actors.”
According to the statement, “Governor Okowa recalls that Pastor P.Z. Aginighan was a vocal voice and a caring leader whose love for humanity was worth emulating”.He affirms that Aginighan, served his country and humanity with all his God-given strength and talent, noting that unitl his demise, he remained a worthy leader in the Niger Delta Region.
“We have lost a great man whose contributions to the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta can best be described as legendary, inspirational and worthy of emulation and will be remembered for redefining the place of service and patriotism in Nigeria’s development.
“He will be sorely missed by all and sundry whose lives he affected in many ways. I therefore urge all who mourn the demise of the late Pastor P.Z. Aginighanand his son Tammy and police orderly to take solace in the fact that his was a life of integrity and great accomplishments.
“On behalf of my family, the Government and people of Delta State, I mourn with the family of the late Pastor P.Z. Aginighan, the Ijaw Nation, and the APC on the demise of the erudite politician.”He prayed God to grant his immediate family the strength to bear the irreparable loss, pointing out that his achievements in different areas of national life will always be remembered.
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