The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins says the late principal of Bethlehem Girls College, Abule Ado, Lagos, Rev. Sister Henrietta Alokha who died in Sunday’s explosion in Abule Ado, Lagos, paid the supreme price in her bid to secure the safety of over 300 students under her watch.
Archbishop Martins in a statement dated March 16 and signed by him, also debunked the insinuations that a priest died in the Adule Ado explosion.
In his two-page statement, Archbishop Martins said the administrator of the school, Rev. Sister Alokha, and one female security guard died in the process of taking care of the students and ensuring they were safe.
His words: Sister Alokha and other staff that died have paid the supreme price in their bid to lead all their students to safety. May their souls rest in peace.
”It is important to confirm that no priest died during the incident. The priest who was celebrating the Mass helped in rescuing the students and he himself is safe.”
The archbishop disclosed that the staff quarters, the administrative building, the refectory, and hostel building were leveled to the ground as a result of the impact of the explosion with no essential building standing except the convent housing the nuns in charge of the school.
According to him, the explosion occurred while the students and staff were at Sunday Mass, adding with the help of the first respondents, all the students were rescued and some that were injured were rushed to the hospitals.
”We want to state that all students of the school were reported safe. Those who sustained injuries were promptly attended to in various hospitals within the environs. We are getting our Education Department along with the administrators of other archdiocesan schools to see how the students of Bethlehem Girls College can be accommodated in their other school so that their education is not disrupted,” Martins stated
He commended the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Red Cross and various security agencies for their prompt response which ensured that the situation did not get worse.
Archbishop Martins also appreciated the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his call to express sympathy of the state government and for setting up a committee to investigate issues surrounding the explosion.
The Catholic Archbishop commiserated within the families of those who died in the incident, and prayed for the quick healing of those who were injured. He also prayed for the Lord to provide the needs of all those who lost their properties.