Following increase in Abia collapse building death toll, the State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has ordered immediate suspension of Executive Secretary, Aba South Local Government Town Planning Authority, over negligence.
Ikpeazu also ordered that the State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), and Aba South Local Government Council Town Planning Authority to commence demolition of the entire building to prevent further loss of lives and property in the state.
The governor, who gave the order yesterday when he paid an assessment visit to the site of a three-storey building under construction on Azikiwe road, which collapsed and killed four persons and five others suffering varying degrees of injuries, instructed both agencies to deploy additional excavators and trucks to the site for removal of debris.
He expressed the resolve of the state government to prosecute those found culpable in the construction of the collapsed building, which killed four persons and injured several others.
The governor noted that preliminary information indicated that the building had no plan, adding that on-site evaluations further revealed that the contractor used sub-standard materials in the construction exercise.
According to him, this kind of shady construction should not happen under the watch of anybody and I understand that the police have apprehended the builder.
“Let this serve as a warning to all those who embark on construction without approval, if you look at what is being brought out here, you’ll see that the concrete mix for this construction is so poor even the size of the rods.
“This was just an accident waiting to happen. If it hasn’t happened before now it would also have happened in the near future,” Ikpeazu added.
He warned against indiscriminate construction of high rise buildings without proper approval and supervision, just as he assured residents that his administration would not hesitate to deal decisively with any defaulter.
Ikpeazu further warned contractors against stacking building materials on drainages and thereafter block it, especially on Osusu road, to desist from such practices, just as he added that the government would no longer tolerate such attitude.
“It is happening in Osusu road now as I speak. If that kind of behaviour and attitude continues, I will hold the builder responsible. I will also suspend the executive secretary of the town planning authority involved. The government will get to the bottom of the situation,” he added.