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Wike threatens to arrest owner of Abuja collapsed building



Nyesom Wike, the Federal Capital Territory Minister, has declared that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is committed to identifying and apprehending the proprietor of the collapsed two-story building in Abuja that occurred on Wednesday night.

As previously reported by ThePressNG, the structure—a plaza—situated at Lagos Crescent in Garki Village, Garki District, collapsed due to heavy rainfall. The building housed around 39 occupants, resulting in two confirmed fatalities and the successful rescue of 37 individuals.

During his visit to the incident site, Wike acknowledged that the original inhabitants of the area had been earmarked for resettlement. However, he expressed bewilderment over the FCT Administration’s prolonged delay in executing this resettlement plan.

While commending the rescue operations, Wike lamented, “The news of this building collapse is deeply regrettable and unexpected. This outcome was not within our contemplation. I extend my gratitude to the agencies, particularly NEMA and FEMA, for their diligent efforts in saving the lives of over 37 individuals. Regrettably, we have lost two lives. I urge the Permanent Secretary to swiftly mobilize funds for covering the medical expenses of the rescued victims, in order to prevent any further loss of life. This action should be taken without delay.”

“Secondly, these are the things we have been saying, nobody knows whose turn it will be, therefore when government says it will take actions in areas we believe there are illegal developments or buildings that do not 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.

“I don’t know why it has taken long that the FCTA has not resettled them and so we will take immediate action to see that the indigenes of these place are resettled and then government has to plan out this place.

“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. I want all the stakeholders here to please work with government in the interest of everybody. No one has come here to say I like A, I don’t like B. I know sometimes 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 we are here. These are the things we are trying to forestall. Again I sympathize with those who lost dear lives, while 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”.

He said the victims were evacuated to various medical facilities in Abuja.

“Thirty Seven persons have so far been rescued and evacuated to hospital, others reportedly still trapped. Rescue team and others are on ground. Rescue operations on but slowly due to ongoing rain”. They are making frantic efforts at getting an excavator to remove people from the rubble”, he added.

The DG commended the efforts of all stakeholders working hard manually to rescue trapped persons, including members of the community.

It was gathered that the victims were taken to various hospitals including the National Hospital, Asokoro, Nyanya, and Garki District Hospitals, Alliance hospital and Zenith hospital.

Also speaking, Director, Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, explained that the building had no planning approval because the area is meant for resettlement.

“The building is located within the Garki indigenous settlement. The building had two suspended floors, one used for commercial activities while the other floors were used as residential accommodation. The building caved in yesterday (Wednesday) and 37 persons were rescued

“The status of the place is that it is not a planned area so the development had no planning approval. In fact, the area is meant for resettlement from here to Apo resettlement town”