It was indeed a black Saturday in Akwa Ibom State, as a man, his
whole family and 20 members of the Jehovah’s Witness
Church perished in a fatal road accident along the Utu Etim
Ekpo road, in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of the state.
Dailypost reports that the tragic incident which occurred on their way to the Church’s
annual convention in Ikot Ekpene Local Government area of the state
also left 40 other members of the church severely injured.
It was gathered that more than 70 members of the church had hired a
Lorry from Ukanafun Local Government Area to Ikot Ekpene for the
three-day annual district convention on Friday, but on their way,
tragedy struck, leaving many members of the church dead.
The corpses and those injured in the accident were said to have been taken to nearby hospitals and mortuaries.
Narrating to the press how it all happened, Mr. Friday John, an
eye-witness said the people who died may have been more than what was
seen because a whole family was persihed in the accident.
was looking like the driver had lost control of it. Then the lorry drove
straight and hit the stone and sommersaulted into the gutter.
“Many people died, more than 18. In fact, we couldn’t count the number
because there were many corpses, including husband, wife and children
and they were all taken to the mortuary in various hospitals near Etim
Ekpo here,” John explained.
Another eyewitness, Mr. Ndipmo Nkanta, said the Lorry conveying the
deceased and the injured passengers was not meant for passengers, but
for goods only. The secondary school teacher also blamed the accident on
poverty , arguing that if there was a better alternative, such
casualties wouldn’t have been recorded, especially as they were going
to a religious gathering.
In his report, Mr. Godgift Uwen, Akwa-Ibom state Public Relations
Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, attributed the cause of the
incident to over-speeding and overloading by the driver of the Lorry.
He however advised against careless driving and driving under the
influence of alcohol, especially in the yuletide, because, according to
him, those are the major causes of road mishap.