Home » Abuja collapsed building was on resettlement area, Wike orders arrest of landlord

Abuja collapsed building was on resettlement area, Wike orders arrest of landlord

by Akeem Adeyemi
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Abuja collapsed building was on resettlement area, Wike orders arrest of landlord

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Nyesom Wike on Thursday ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the collapsed two-storey building in Lagos Crescent, Garki Village, Abuja on Wednesday night.

idanNews learnt that the building collapsed around 11 pm amid heavy downpour, leaving two people dead, 37 rescued while others trapped.

Recall that IdanNews had earlier reported that two-story building collapsed in Lagos street, Garki Village, Abuja on Wednesday night.

Speaking at the scene of the incident, Wike noted that original residents of the area were designated for resettlement, however wondered why for years, the FCT Administration could not carry out such resettlement.

While he applauded the rescue efforts, Wike said; “It is unfortunate that we woke up this morning to the very disturbing news of this building collapse. It is not what we contemplated. Let me thank the agencies particularly NEMA and FEMA that have supported us to rescue not less than 37 lives. It is unfortunate that we lost two lives. I will appeal to the Permanent Secretary to make sure that funds are raised to pay the hospital bills of those who were rescued so that we do not lose any more people, and this should be done immediately.

“Secondly, these are the things we have been saying, nobody knows whose turn it will be, therefore when government says it will take action in areas we believe there are illegal developments or buildings that do not comply with the standard codes, it is not as if anybody has any personal vendetta but for me it is for us to do the right thing.

“I don’t know why it has taken so long that the FCTA has not resettled them and so we will take immediate action to see that the indigenous people of these places are resettled and then the government has to plan out this place.

“When the government says to take building plans, it is not to suffer anybody but to make sure that everyone is protected. Cities are planning to forestall this kind of occurrence. Imagine buildings without approval. I will ask that we must identify and arrest the owner of this property. It is very important.

“Government will, of course, take over this area and make sure no further development is carried out here. I want all the stakeholders here to please work with the government in the interest of everybody. No one has come here to say I like A, I don’t like B. I know sometimes the government’s decisions may not be too comfortable with the people, but in the long run, it is in the interest of the people. Now we are all gathered here and none of us is happy we are here. These are the things we are trying to forestall. Again I sympathize with those who lost dear lives, while the government will pick up the bills of all those in the hospital. We will also support the rescue efforts and ensure that they get to the last level and rescue everyone still trapped in the rubble”

Confirming the development to journalists in Abuja, the Director General of Federal Emergency Management Agency, Dr Abbass Iddriss said thirty-seven people have so far been rescued at the scene of the collapsed structure, while two fatalities were recorded.

On his part, Director General of FCT Emergency Management Agency FEMA, Dr Abbas Idriss said 37 persons were rescued at the scene of the collapsed structure.

He said the victims were evacuated to various medical facilities in Abuja.

“Thirty Seven persons have so far been rescued and evacuated to hospital, others reportedly still trapped. Rescue team and others are on the ground. Rescue operations on but slowly due to ongoing rain”. They are making frantic efforts at getting an excavator to remove people from the rubble”, he added.

The DG commended the efforts of all stakeholders working hard manually to rescue trapped persons, including members of the community.

It was gathered that the victims were taken to various hospitals including the National Hospital, Asokoro, Nyanya, and Garki District Hospitals, Alliance hospital and Zenith hospital.

Also speaking, Director, Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, explained that the building had no planning approval because the area is meant for resettlement.

“The building is located within the Garki indigenous settlement. The building had two suspended floors, one used for commercial activities while the other floors were used as residential accommodation. The building caved in yesterday (Wednesday) and 37 persons were rescued.

“The status of the place is that it is not a planned area so the development had no planning approval. In fact, the area is meant for resettlement from here to Apo resettlement town.”

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