Thirty three indigenes of Imo State constituting about 20% of the casualty figure perished in the Dana Air plane mishap in Lagos early this month.
The Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, confirmed the number contrary to the figures earlier bandied about last Wednesday during the Candle light service in memory of the victims from Imo State at the Ahiajioku Convention Centre, Owerri.
He lamented that every upheaval in Nigeria usually consumes the blood of Igbos, adding that the unity of Nigeria is anchored on Igbos.
The governor announced a donation of N50 million to the bereaved families for the funeral of their beloved ones and also announced a plan to erect a memorial park in honour of the victims.
Assuring the bereaved families that they were not alone in their sorrow, Governor Okorocha further assured that the state government would institute a legal action against DANA Air in which legal luminaries from Imo State would be mobilised.
In his sermon based on the theme, “the Real Issue”, Bishop Innocent Erimujo submitted that death which is the lot of all mortals is not the issue but the aftermath and the judgement that precedes death.
He, therefore, counseled people to be ready for death at any time through repentance as death could strike unexpectedly.
Earlier, the Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt Rev. Cyril Okorocha, PhD said the opening prayer as intercessory prayers were said by Rev. Fr. Peter Moka and Bishop O.O. Agbai.
Other features were praise worship session and the reading of the Bible lessons by Imo Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso, the Speaker of Imo House of Assembly, Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu, the Chairman, Imo State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Cosmas Ilechukwu, and the Governor’s wife, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha.
The Candle lighting ceremony was performed by Governor Okorocha on behalf of the government; Eze Sam Ohiri led the traditional rulers to light the one for the royal fathers; Imo State head of service performed the rite on behalf of civil servants, Pastor Cosmas Ilechukwu took his turn on behalf of CAN while Mr Ejike Azubuike lit a candle on behalf of bereaved families.