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 .
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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