Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike has visited the site of the collapsed building and ordered that the landlord be identified and arrested with immediate effect.
He also said that the FCT Administration would pay the hospital bills of the victims.
The minister who wondered why the villagers were yet to be compensated and resettled, stressed that Government will take over the area and ensure that no further development takes place there.
The FCT Minister who described the building collapse as worrisome, emphasised that due diligence would be followed to sanitize the city.
The minister commended the rescue team and appealed to the Permanent Secretary to make sure that funds are raised immediately to pay the hospital bills of the rescued victims.
” I sympathise with those who lost their lives, government will pick up the bills of all those in the hospital. Let me thank the agencies particularly NEMA and FEMA that has supported us to rescue lives.
Wike stressed the need for residents to abide by regulations and building codes to avert incidences of building collapse.
“When government says take building plan, it is not to suffer anybody but to make sure that everyone is protected.Cities are planned to forestall this kind of occurrences. 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.
” 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 don’t lose any more persons, and this should be done immediately.
“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 don’t 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.
“we will take immediate action to see that the indigenes of these place are resettled and then government has to plan out this place.” Wike said
Some residents and victims of the incidence, Ann Anyi, Chioma and Esther Eze, said the house is one of the oldest in the area and that they have complained about the dilapidating nature of the building to the landlord and his lawyer but no action was taken to salvage the situation.
They equally blamed relevant government agencies for failing to constantly inspect such buildings or conduct integrity tests on them.
The Director General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss said victims of the building collapse have been taken to various hospitals within the territory.
He explained that the building located within the Garki indigenous settlement has two suspended floors, one used for commercial activities while the other floors were used for esidential purposes.
The Director, Department of Development Control, Murktar Galadima who spoke on the status of the building, said the place is not a planned area and the building had no planning approval.
Written by: Elizabeth David
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