By Nathaniel Shaibu
… orders immediate arrest of developer
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, to facilitate the prompt payment of the hospital bills of the victims of the collapsed building in the FCT.
The PUNCH earlier reported that a two-storey at the Lagos Crescent, in Garki 2, Abuja, collapsed on Wednesday, at about 11.30pm, following a heavy downpour.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, who confirmed the incident in a press statement on Thursday morning, said 37 persons had been rescued, with two of them fatally injured.
Wike who visited the scene of the building collapse, together with the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Bariya Mahmoud, and the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Olusade Adesola, before embarking on a project tour, thanked the agencies for rescuing the victims, while directing immediate payment of hospital bills for the victims still alive.
“Let me thank the agencies, particularly NEMA and FEMA that have supported us to rescue not less than 32 lives. It is unfortunate the two that are dead. I will discuss with the Permanent Secretary, to make sure that funds are raised to pay the hospital bills of those who are rescued. We don’t want to hear that any other person has passed on, and that should be done immediately”.
The Minister also used the opportunity to reiterate that taking action against poorly constructed buildings was not a personal vendetta against anyone, but a move to save as many lives as possible from disaster.
“These are the things we have been saying nobody knows whose turn it will be. And therefore it is important that when government says it will take action on certain areas that we believe are illegal development, or even buildings that do not comply with standard codes, it is not as if anybody has any personal vendetta. But for God, we would have lost virtually everybody”.
He directed that work continues on the site until they were certain that no other survivor was left trapped under the collapsed building.
Learning that the residents in the building were supposed to be resettled in Apo and that the developer did not get proper approval for the construction of the building, Wike ordered the immediate identification and arrest of the owner of the building, while faulting the FCTA for taking time to relocate the inhabitants of the building.
Meanwhile, our correspondent learnt that the rescued victims had been taken to various hospitals across the city, including the National Hospital, Asokoro, Nyanya and Garki District Hospitals, Alliance Hospital, and Zenith Hospital.