From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Four persons yesterday lost their lives in a fire incident in Makurdi, Benue State Capital.
The fire happened at Kwararafa F1 quarters located close to the Government House and mainly occupied by civil servants.
According to eye witnesses, the fire started at about 2:45 am in the residence of Mr. Sekegh Tyodugh, an acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology
Though, the cause of the inferno could not be immediately ascertained, neighbors said it may have been caused by electrical fault even as it razed down the entire house and extended to three other houses including that of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Religion, Evangelist Daniel Unongo.
Mr. Unongo said he heard a scream but the magnitude of the inferno prevented them from entering the house to assist just as they immediately alerted men of the Fire Service Department who arrived at about 3:20 am and struggled hard to put out the fire which raged on for a long time.
The Venue state Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu who visited the scene expressed shock at the level of devastation.
He described it as a monumental disaster, adding, ‘it is black day for Benue’.
Engr. Abounu said the state has lost a prized asset in Mr. Akaa and prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“We cannot undo what has happened. At the moment, Government will take responsibility for their burial and also, assist the other families who lost property to relocate. We warn against any looting of property”, Engr. Abounu said.
Rev. Favor Akaa, brother to the deceased described him as a God fearing man, averring that they had attended a two retreat at ECWA Church in Makurdi at the weekend where he worshipped and praised God.
According to him, he had a conversation with his brother yesterday night at about 11 am about a certain transaction he was scheduled to do on Monday but preferred to do it on Sunday before his demise.
“He told me that his heart could not rest until he had done the transaction. It is appointed unto man to die but you cannot spend time with God and tragedy will happen. It is a wonderful thing to spend 48 hours with God. It is time for him to depart and we give glory to God.
The late acting permanent Secretary, it was learnt, was due to be confirmed Permanent Secretary soon before his demise. He was born on February 4th, 1954 and has only two children.