Deadly Building Collapse in Abuja Prompts Arrest Order by FCT Minister
Fatal Building Collapse in Abuja Prompts Immediate Action by FCT Minister
A devastating incident unfolded in Abuja on Wednesday night as a two-storey building collapsed, leaving at least two individuals dead and 37 others rescued and rushed to various medical facilities. The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has taken immediate action, ordering the identification and apprehension of the building’s owner.
The ill-fated building, situated at Lagos Crescent in Garki Village, within the Garki District of the nation’s capital, crumbled around 11 pm during a severe downpour. The initial rescue operations were hampered by the lack of immediate access to heavy machinery, compelling the rescue efforts to rely solely on manual labor.
At the scene of the disaster, Minister Wike expressed his distress over the tragic event. He conveyed his gratitude to agencies such as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their relentless efforts, which resulted in the rescue of 37 lives. He also extended his sympathies to the families of the two casualties and pledged support for those injured, ensuring their medical bills would be covered.
Wike emphasized the need for the government to prioritize safety regulations and proper urban planning. He questioned why the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had not taken action sooner to resettle the original residents of the area, highlighting the importance of adhering to building codes to prevent such incidents.
The FCT Minister stated, “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.” He stressed the urgency of arresting the owner of the collapsed property, and he announced the government’s intention to take over the affected area and prevent further development there.
Dr. Abbas Idriss, the Director General of FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provided updates on the rescue operation. He reported that 37 individuals had been successfully rescued and transported to various hospitals across Abuja. However, due to ongoing rain, the rescue process was proceeding cautiously, and efforts were underway to deploy an excavator to accelerate the removal of debris and trapped individuals.
Mukhtar Galadima, the Director of the Department of Development Control, shed light on the building’s lack of planning approval. He revealed that the location was intended for resettlement and not for new developments. He stated, “The status of the place is that it is not a planned area so the development had no planning approval.”
As Abuja grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, government authorities, rescue teams, and community members are joining forces to ensure the safety of affected residents and to prevent future occurrences. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the vital importance of adhering to building regulations and implementing effective urban planning measures to safeguard lives and property.