In a heart-wrenching incident that unfolded on Wednesday night, a two-storey building located at Lagos Crescent, Garki Village in Abuja tragically collapsed, claiming the lives of two individuals while leaving 37 others fortunate enough to be rescued. The immediate aftermath saw rescue operations hindered by the heavy downpour, forcing heroic efforts from first responders who toiled tirelessly to save lives without the aid of heavy machinery.
Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Nyesom Wike, swiftly intervened, ordering the identification and immediate arrest of the building’s owner. The owner’s apprehension is seen as a vital step towards seeking accountability and ensuring that such negligent actions do not go unpunished. As the rescue teams worked against time, the FCT Minister expressed his gratitude for the efforts of agencies such as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their prompt response and dedication.
Wike’s attention also turned towards the longstanding issue of illegal developments and non-compliant buildings within the city. He raised concerns over the lack of proper resettlement plans for the area’s original residents, stressing the importance of adhering to building codes and regulations. The collapse underscored the need for urban planning that prioritizes safety and compliance, aiming to avert such tragic incidents in the future.
While acknowledging the discomfort some may feel with governmental decisions, Wike emphasized that they are designed with citizens’ best interests in mind. He pledged to expedite the resettlement of affected residents and initiate a comprehensive plan to prevent any further construction on the site.
The Director General of FCT Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Abbas Idriss, lauded the combined efforts of emergency services and community members who worked tirelessly to rescue those trapped in the debris. He confirmed that 37 individuals had been successfully rescued and rushed to various medical facilities across Abuja.
It was revealed that the collapsed building lacked proper planning approval, raising questions about oversight and adherence to regulations. According to Mukhtar Galadima, the Director of the Department of Development Control, the building was situated within the Garki indigenous settlement and lacked the necessary planning approval due to the area’s designated purpose for resettlement.
The tragedy has prompted urgent discussions about the need for improved urban planning, enforcement of regulations, and enhanced safety measures to prevent further disasters of this nature. The FCT Minister’s call for accountability resonates with citizens who seek justice for the lives lost and a safer environment for their community.
As investigations continue and efforts to rescue anyone still trapped persist, the incident serves as a stark reminder that shortcuts in construction and a disregard for safety codes can have devastating consequences. The government’s commitment to holding the owner accountable and prioritizing proper resettlement reflects its determination to prevent future catastrophes.
Source: Vanguard News
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