Following the collapse of a two-storey building at Lagos Street located in Garki 2 in Abuja at about 11: 45 pm on Wednesday night, the FCT minister, Nyesome Wike has ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the building.
Wike, who gave the order when he visited the scene of the incident on Thursday, applauded the ongoing rescue efforts, saying that it was unfortunate that they woke up to the very disturbing news of this building collapse.
“It is not what we contemplated. Let me thank the agencies particularly the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other agencies that have supported us in rescuing not less than 32 lives. Unfortunately, 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 the government says it will take actions in areas where 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,” he said.
The FCT minister also expressed disappointment that it had taken the FCTA a long time to resettle natives of Garki village, saying that they will take immediate action to see that the indigenes of the village are resettled and then the government has to plan out the area.
He further said: “When the 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 occurrence. Imagine buildings without approval. I will ask that we 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 do not like B. I know sometimes government 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 sympathise with those who lost their lives, 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.”
Also speaking, the director of FCTA Development Control, Muktar Galadima said the building is located within the Garki indigenous settlement, and that the building had two suspended floors, one used for commercial activities while the other floors were used as residential accommodation. He explained that the status of the place is that, it is not a planned area so the development had no planning approval, saying that the area is meant for resettlement from here to Apo resettlement town.
Meanwhile, some residents of the area say they have persistently complained to the landlord and lawyer of the collapsed building concerning its dilapidated state, saying that their complaints however fell on deaf ears.
…Wike To Complete City Gate Road To Constitution Avenue In 7-month
More so, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has promised to complete the construction of B6 and B12 roads, linking Constitution Avenue to City Gate, Abuja, in the next seven months. Wike, who gave the assurance after a tour of some abandoned projects in Abuja yesterday, said that the renovation of the Federal Secretariat would also be completed within seven to eight months.
The minister, in the company of the minister of State for FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, and the permanent secretary, FCT Administration, Mr Adesola Olusade, also visited the Millennium Tower construction site, at Central Area, Abuja.
Meanwhile, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike has expressed disappointment at the rate at which sensitive projects have been abandoned by previous administrations in the nation’s capital for years.
The minister, who stated this during an inspection of some project sites in Abuja central business district yesterday, said the number of uncompleted projects in the territory was worrisome. Wike was accompanied by the minister of State for FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud with top management officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
The minister, while speaking on the abandoned Millennium Tower project, questioned why a project that would have a positive impact on the residents of Abuja and beyond would not be completed. He told the permanent secretary, FCTA, Adesola Olusade to evolve measures that will bring about quick completion of the project.
“Let us start doing something about this project before talking about partnership, if we are waiting for partners it will take us up to three years before work will start. It is not good to start a project that will have a positive impact on the lives of people and the city and abandon it,” he said.
Wike, also said he will speak with President Bola Tinubu over the abandoned work on the construction of the vice president residence and the residence for presiding officers of the National Assembly.
The project sites visited by the minister include the rehabilitation of the Federal Secretariat building, phase 1, completion of roads B6, B12, and circle road in the Abuja central area. He also inspected the construction of the cultural centre and Millennium Tower in the central area and proposed the FCTA secretariat headquarters complex.