The Abia Government has appealed for calm over the death of one Sunday Ugba, a Deacon at the Assemblies of God Church, who died on Monday night, along with six other persons in his house in Umuahia.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ugba and others, including four children that came on holiday in his house, died after taking suya and fruit juice.
His wife was rushed, unconscious, to Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, where she is currently receiving medical treatment.
Reacting to the incident in a statement in Umuahia on Tuesday, Abia Commissioner for Information, Okiyi Kalu, advised relatives of the deceased persons to remain calm.
Kalu stated that government had contacted all the relevant agencies “to investigate the unfortunate incident.”
“We wish to call for calm and patience to enable relevant medical authorities to properly determine the cause of the death of the seven persons,” he stated.
The commissioner conveyed the condolences of the state government to the relations and friends of the deceased.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Police Command in Abia, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, said that the command had “commenced investigation into the sad incident.”
Ogbonna, however, said that no arrest had been made, adding that “investigation is ongoing to ascertain the actual cause of the deaths.”
He appealed to members of the public, especially relations and friends of the deceased, to assist the command with useful information that could help it to get to the root of the incident.
NAN reports that the only survivor in the family and first daughter of the deceased, Ijeoma, had explained that she ate the suya but did not take the juice.
Ijeoma, who said that she did not suffer any ill health, told newsmen that her father and others that took the suya and fruit drink began to experience “serious stomach pain” shortly after.
“Barely one hour after taking the suya and juice, they started feeling serious stomach pains. There was serious commotion in the house, as everybody began to roll on the ground, crying for help.
“But after about 30 minutes, there was calm. Everybody seemed to have regained themselves.
“Around 10 p.m., we all retired to sleep. Unfortunately, in the morning, I woke up to see the lifeless bodies of my dad and brothers and the four children on holiday in our house,” Ijeoma said. (NAN)