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Benue fire kills perm sec, pregnant wife, children

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Benue fire kills perm sec, pregnant wife, children

The acting Permanent Secretary of the Benue State Ministry of Science and Technology Sekegh Akaa was burnt to death alongside his pregnant wife and two children when a fire engulfed their Kwararafa Quarter home  in  Makurdi in the  early hours of Monday.

According to an eyewitness, the fire began  around  2.45am.

The  real cause of the fire could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report, but a    neighbour, who simply identified herself as Josephine,  told our correspondent that it might  have been   caused by an electrical fault.

The fire  razed the entire house and extended to three other houses including that of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on  Religion Daniel Unongo.

Although firefighters  fought hard to put out the fire and to save lives, the inferno  raged on for a long time.

Josephine said,   “Initially, when I heard of the cry of the woman in it took me sometime to muster courage to go out because I thought  robbers had attacked the house.

“When I came out and saw a thick smoke from the same house,  I shouted and this drew attention  of other neighbours to what was going on.

“Immediately, one of the neighbours  made a phone call to the fire service and within a short time they  rushed to the scene.”

The Deputy Governor Benson Abounu, who visited the scene, expressed his shock  at the incident, describing it as a monumental disaster.

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Abounu said the state had lost a prized asset in Akaa and prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

He said, “We cannot undo what has happened. At the moment,  the government will take responsibility for their burial and also assist the other families who lost property to relocate.”

the late permanent secretary’s brother Rev Favour Akaa said  they attended a retreat at ECWA Church in Makurdi at the weekend.

He said he  had a conversation with his brother on  Sunday  night  about a certain transaction he was scheduled to do on Monday but preferred to do it on Sunday.

Favour said, “He told me that his heart could not rest until he had done the transaction. It is a wonderful thing to spend 48 hours with God. His death is  strength to us. It is time for him to depart and we give glory to God.”

It  was learnt  that Akaa was due to be confirmed as Permanent Secretary  before his death.

Meanwhile, Governor  Samuel Ortom  has said he is saddened by Akaa’s death According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the  governor  consoled  the deceased’s friends and relations.

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