AKSG, Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel
Governor Emmanuel Udom, of Akwa Ibom state

By Harris Emanuel – Uyo

No fewer 2,500 victims of the fire incident which gutted Iwoukpom, a riverside community in Ibeno Council of Akwa Ibom State at the weekend have continued to count their losses which they put at several millions of naira.

It would be recalled that at least 4,000 houses were affected by the early morning inferno.

The victims who are mainly fishers, artisans, among others, have made a passionate appeal to the state government and donor agencies for assistances to alleviate their plight.

One of the victims, Mrs Victoria Udoh, mother of three, lamented that she has lost her life saving to the inferno and that the incident has rendered her family homeless.

“The entire building was razed down completely, I could not pick even a pin from the house,” she lamented.

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She called on the state government, spirited individuals and corporate organisations as well as NGOs to come to their rescue.

Udoh also called on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to give relief materials to them to ameliorate their sufferings.

Another victim, who simply described himself as Bello, also appealed to government to render assistance to them, stating his tailoring job has been ruined as many machines were destroyed in the fire.

“In fact, the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but we urge government to come to our assistance. We have lost fortunes in the incident, including building, fishing gears, boats, among others. The livelihood of many people have been affected adversely”‘ he said.

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Vice-Chairman, Ibeno Council, Sunday Isokobo, who described the incident as a major disaster, promised to give relief materials to the affected families to alleviate their suffering and also called on the state government, oil companies to come to the aid of the victims.

He said, “We will give them relief materials to start with while thinking of permanent ways of giving them back hope, especially the fishermen who had lost their livelihood to inferno.

“It is a pity that the inferno also affected my father’s house, I am begging government, donor agencies, international communities, oil companies to come to their aid.”

A Youth leader in the area, Mr Kingsley Asuquo expressed sadness over the inferno and called on the state government to provide internal displaced camp for the affected victims.

The leader of the Yoruba community, Mr Foli Ogungbemi, Special Adviser to the Chairman of Ibeno on none indigenes said the entire place was settled mostly by Yoruba people.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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