Gov. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti has ordered strict supervision and certification of building construction by relevant government agencies to forestall future building collapse in the state.
Oyebanji, represented by Dep. Gov. Monisade Afuye, gave the order on Sunday when he visited the scene of a building collapse in Ijero-Ekiti.
He also visited the victims of the incident, who were receiving medical treatment at the Ijero General Hospital, Ijero-Ekiti, where he sympathised with them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that six persons sustained varying degrees of injuries, when an Event Centre building collapsed in Ijero-Ekiti, Ijero Local Government Area, on September 2.
The governor directed all the agencies of government to ensure that all the public buildings of that nature were properly supervised and certified at every stage to avoid unwarranted fatalities.
He expressed deep concern over the high degrees of injuries sustained by the victims.
Oyebanji said that the incident could have been averted, “if proper building scrutinies and compliance with specifications were carried out by government agencies”.
He, therefore, warned that situations like that should not be allowed to recur in the state.
He gave assurance that his government would initiate measures to make Emergency Management Equipment available in all the local government areas to respond to any emergency situation.
“Let me sympathise with the victims of this devastating incident.
“Nobody prays for bad thing to happen but we need to be proactive in preventing occurrences of this nature, rather than being reactive.
“I know that if the building had been thoroughly supervised and certified fit at every stage of the erection, this incident could have been averted.
“It is just normal and procedural that all public buildings be monitored to ensure they are built to specifications and with standard materials.
“This is because the common feature associated with building collapse now is the use of substandard materials by the building contractors.
“We thank God that no life was lost.
“But as a responsible government, we won’t wait until people died before taking actions that can safeguard their lives.
“That is why it is most expedient that all government agencies must be responsive to their duties at all times,” Oyebanji said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Olajide Borode, also on the entourage, said the men of Fire Services were immediately deployed in the spot for rescue operation as soon as he received a distress call.
“We want to appreciate our people for commencing the rescue operation through evacuation of the occupants out of the building before the Fire Service men came to join.
“The Ekiti State Bureau of Special Project will be here to do Integrity Test on the building to ascertain whether it can be salvaged or demolished outright,” he said.
Speaking, the Lawmaker representing Ijero Constituency in the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr Ademola Ojo, commended the governor for prioritising the safety of the citizens
Narrating how the incident happened, Ojo said: “A reception for a burial ceremony was ongoing when there was a deep crack on the wall.
“And suddenly, the roofing and Plaster of Paris caved in and fell on those who were seated inside the auditorium.
“This caused a stampede. Many were wounded in the process, while some others sustained serious bodily injuries.
“I was here with the council chairman and fire service men to rescue the people out of the rubbles.
“Those who were seriously wounded were immediately taken to hospital for treatment.”
The building, christened “F and G Event Centre”, located on the Ijero-Ido-Ekiti Road, with over 250 occupants, had its roof and walls receded around 4p.m on Sept. 2 during a burial reception.
NAN reports that the scene of the incident was littered with spilled food served at the event, broken bottles, shoes, male caps, female wigs and headgears, amongst others items. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria