What seemed like a dramatic irony played out in the 5th Service at the GRA headquarters of Salvation Ministries, Port Harcourt on Sunday, following the live testimony of the owner of Pedro Hotels located at the popular Azikiwe Street, Diobu, Mr. Prince Ihunwo whose property was razed down by fire penultimate Sunday.
Ihunwo went to church on Sunday for a 'special thanksgiving' to God over the misfortune that befell him and was said to have expressed gratitude to the Almighty for the burning of the brothel which he described as one of the oldest 'Ashawo joints' in Port Harcourt.
Recall that the hotel owner whose outfit is said to provide 'entertainment services' for males, could not hide his pains and agony when his 15-room brothel got razed by fire while he was away in church on that fateful Sunday and all efforts by neighbors and a handful of volunteers to put out the inferno proved abortive.
Of course, the apparently frustrated hotelier did not also hide his disgust as he berated the State Fire Service as well as the fire unit of multinational companies within the area, for failing in their corporate social responsibility as several phone calls put out to them fell on deaf ears.
Ihunwo, who is the Youth President of 'Ikwerre Bu Otu', a socio-political organization in the State, reportedly appealed to the local and state governments, companies as well as public spirited individuals to assist him in renovating the property.
However, the church testimony of the hotel owner has left tongues wagging. An anonymous resident who stays adjacent the burnt hotel wondered how in one breadth, he (Ihunwo) lamented the unfortunate incident while in another breadth, he went to church to rejoice over the misfortune.
“It is the height of irony that Prince Ihunwo, owner of the brothel who had initially criticized the Rivers State Fire Service and fire unit of multinational company for not coming to put off the fire on the day of the incident, will stand on the altar of Salvation Ministries to thank God that the brothel was razed down”, said another neighbour.
The reason for the u-turn by the owner of the brothel could not be ascertained as at press time.
It would be recalled that residents of the street had blamed the razing of the compound by fire last Sunday on alleged inability of personnel of fire service to respond to distress calls.
Our correspondent who was at the scene the day of the incident reports that concerted efforts of youth who improvised using water and detergent prevented the inferno from spreading to other compounds.
No fire service personnel were also seen at the scene of the incident but Police patrol van belonging to Azikiwe Divisional Police headquarters, Mile 2 Diobu was present to prevent breakdown of law and order, when our reporter visited the scene.
Meanwhile, there are speculations that the fire may have been triggered by adulterated kerosene. No casualty was recorded.