FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the immediate identification and arrest of the owner of a two-storey building that collapsed in the Garki area of Abuja on Wednesday night.
Two persons were confirmed dead and 37 others were rescued from the rubble.
The Minister, who visited the scene on Thursday morning, commended relevant agencies for their quick intervention in conducting a rescue mission, adding that the government will take care of the hospital bills of the injured victims.
He said, “It is unfortunate that we woke 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 32 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, it is important that when the 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,”
He also expressed disappointment that it had taken FCTA a long time to resettle the indigenes of Garki village, noting that he would take immediate action to see that the indigenes are resettled and then the government would plan out the area.
“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 don’t like B, I like C. 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. These are the things we are trying to forestall.
“I sympathize with those who lost dear lives, and the government will pay the bills of those alive. We will also support the rescue efforts and ensure that they get to the last level and rescue everyone”.
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