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Anguish as fire outbreak sacks 7 families in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria

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A mysterious fire outbreak has destroyed the home of seven families in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State in Southern Nigeria, rendering the owners and tenants homeless with virtually nothing left with which to restart any meaningful life.

While four of the tenants were not around at the time of the incident, others who were there with their children and neighbours could not tame the fire in spite of their spirited efforts.

The source of the fire could not be ascertained as at press time.

The large compound is also occupied by a couple of churches.

Speaking to newsmen at the scene of the disaster, Mrs Nkoyo Onukak lamented the ordeal her family has been going through since the disaster struck.

She narrated how the fire outbreak consumed all their valuables, stripping them naked and homeless, without any hope to hang on to.

“I went to farm on Thursday with my children to cultivate my farmland. As I came back, I sorted a few cups of beans to cook for them. As I entered the backyard, my neighbour started shouting my name that fire was burning down the building.

“I was so devastated as the fire did not leave anything for us. Only God helped us to rescue my son who was sleeping in one of the rooms.

“I seek the help of Gov Umo Eno to please help me with my children. We need a house to lay our heads. All our clothes were burnt up by the fire. There is nothing to eat. My children are in pains. Everything in the house is gone”, she appealed.

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Speaking to newsmen in his palace on Saturday, March 9, the village head of Iyesin Ebughu, Chief Edet Etibensi Uno, said that the villagers ran berserk on the fateful day, especially in their attempt to rescue the male child who was nearly consumed in the inferno.

“We tried all we could to stop the fire, but as you have seen, all the rooms have been licked up by the fire and nothing was saved from it. That’s why we call on Gov Umo Eno; our son at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Sir Victor Antai, who hails from the neighbouring village, to show compassion on these families.

“All relevant stakeholders, including the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA; the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, among others, should please show compassion on the innocent children and their parents”, the village head pleaded.

Also speaking, the village’s Council Chairman, Prince John Etim Onukak; and the Community Liaison Officer, Ulap Godwin Atte, pleaded with Gov Eno, Sir Victor Antai, and relevant agencies to kindly and urgently come to the help of the vulnerable children and families affected by the disaster.

The Council Chairman of Mbo Local Government, Hon. Sunday Okon Etim, decried regular occurrences of fire outbreak in the area, lamenting that just within three months of his administration, Mbo Local Government Area has witnessed four fire incidents, which have rendered many homeless, in Utẹ Udombo, Esuk Enwang, Utẹ Brama, and Ibaka communities.

Sunday Etim, who said the Council was deeply touched by the level of damage in the instant case, expressed the hope that the state government, led by, in his estimation, a responsive and people-centric leader like Pastor Umo Eno, would not hesitate to swiftly intervene to give succour to the victims.

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Culled from Watchman Post


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