Fire Guts Pastor’s House, Renders Family Of Seven Homeless
By Ephraim Ikpe |
It was a black Sunday for the family of Pastor Paul Elisha Akpan as fire razed down his No 7B Afia Etoi Lane, Obio Imo Street, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State house and rendered his family of seven homeless
The inferno would have ended the life of the Pastor but for the intervention of his good neighbours who broke a glass window of the room he was sleeping at about 7.30pm, calling and pelting pieces of stones at him to wake up as his four room apartment was on fire.
Pastor Paul is from Ikot Antono Village in Ibiono Ibom LGA. He told our reporter how the fire incident came about with no clarity. All he could recall is that PHEDC was “giving and taking light”, as reported by neighbours, but showed The Waves reporter the room the fire outbreak started. He said he was grateful the State fire service which responded promptly as that fire would have extended other buildings if it had taken up to an hour or two without the intervention of the men of the fire service.
As at the time of filing this report, Pastor Paul Elisha Akpan of the God’s Land Redemption Church, of No. 4 Udo Udo Ekong Street, off Itu Road has no place to lay his head. It could have been far tolerable if it were only himself. His wife and three other children are homeless. One of them is physically challenged: she can neither talk nor hear. On that eventful day of the fire incident, the girl [deaf and dump] was under labour and was just taken out to deliver by her mother and it was not long their house was gutted by fire. She delivered a baby boy on Monday March 5, 2018, a day after their abode was raised down by fire. The family has to look for where to lay the baby’s head.
Mr Paul says he has no money now to rent a house for himself and his family and seeks for help from public spirited individuals and organizations everywhere to come to his aid. He patches up with one of his children, called Ekemini living in one room in town and says life is “unbearable” for him.
Though he remains grateful to God that nobody lost his/her life during the inferno, he said the value of the house and the household items lost to fire was worth over N25m. His wife’s case is pathetic as she stays with her son-in-law, with her daughter who has two children. In this case, it is Mrs Affiong Paul Elisha Akpan, her physically challenged daughter and her new born baby, her daughter married to one Mr Promise with two children making them seven in one room. Too pathetic.
Paul’s wife was from Nung Ukot Itam in Itu LGA before her marriage to Pastor Paul Elisha Akpan. She sells what she calls “articles” at Akpan Andem Market. She pays N3000.00 per month to hire a space to do her trading, but was bitterly complaining as at the time of filing this report that her rent for the market space had expired and she was facing the challenge of where to lay her head, raise rent for the shop in the market, and money for upkeep of her children. She calls on persons moved by the spirit of God and also appeals to the wife of the governor of Akwa Ibom State to come to her aid for the sake of her family.
Pastor Paul Elisha Akpan is not a full time preacher but has been in petty trading business for over twenty years now. He lost grip of his business capital and goods(House hold items and provision) during the demolition of Uyo Main Market (Urua Uyo) and since then he said life has not been easy. He says he now manages a few odds and ends in a wheel barrow hawking from place to place to make ends meet.
Asked whether there were other tenants living in that house before the fire outbreak, Paul said a male Corps member was living in one room while another room was occupied by another person. He said as at the time of the incident none of them was around and that not even a pin was saved from the whole house.
As at the time of visiting the compound Pastor Paul said since after the incident the whereabouts of his tenants was not known and he has not seen them. He said nobody was injured. Asked whether his sibling and church members have extended any assistance since the incident he said the church members did the remedial efforts which he was grateful, but that his sibling(a brother and a sister) were not around Akwa Ibom and were not economically strong to extend help yet.
The fire incident happened on Sunday, 4th March, 2018.
He appeals for help as soon as any could come his way and gives his life line as 08034096076 (Pastor Paul Elisha Akpan); 08167347448 (Ekemini Paul Elisha).