A day of celebration, unfortunately, turned sour on December 24, 2019 when a 52-year-old pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG, Gabriel Diya, his 16-year-old son, Praise Emmanuel Diya and 9-year-old daughter, Comfort Diya, drowned inside the swimming pool in the Costa del Sol resort in Southern Spain.
Until his death, Pastor Gabriel Diya was the Minister in charge of the Open Heavens of RCCG in Charlton, South-East London.
He was on a family vacation with his wife and their children. Unfortunately, his daughter Comfort got into difficulty while playing in one of the 21 swimming pools in the resort.
Himself and his son jumped in to try to save her but also struggled in the water. Despite poolside attempts to resuscitate them, all three died at the scene.
His wife, Olubunmi, who was with them prayed fervently as CPR was performed on her husband and children.
Sadly, they were all confirmed dead by the doctors. Post-mortem examinations carried out on Christmas Day confirmed death by drowning.
After the incident, police carried out an investigation and could find nothing wrong with the pool’s filtration and pump system. The pool has since been reopened to the public.
The UK’s central office of RCCG has since described the unfortunate incident as a “tragic accident”. In a post shared on Facebook, the church said
“With heavy hearts, we extend our condolences to the family, parish, friends and associates of Area Pastor Gabriel Diya who sadly passed away, along with two of his children – Comfort Diya (9 years old) and Praise Emmanuel Diya (16 years old) – in a tragic incident while on a family holiday in Spain on 24th December 2019.
Pastor Gabriel Diya, who was also the Parish Pastor of Open Heavens, Charlton in London was aged 52. He is survived by his wife Assistant Pastor Olubunmi Diya and their daughter.
At this very difficult time, our prayers are for Pastor Gabriel Diya’s family, the parishes that were under his supervision, friends, associates, members of RCCG and the general public”.
Meanwhile, thousands of Nigerians and members of the RCCG community around the World have posted their condolences on social media, praying God to give the family the fortitude to bear the lost.
Laura Medina: “” Did not know you Pastor, nor your family, but as I heard this o the news today my heart was heavy. As one member of the body of Christ hurts , we all do. My prayers with your family today. May they receive comfort and strength”
May their soul of Praise Emmanuel Diya and souls of his two children rest in peace.