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Wike orders arrest of Abuja collapsed building owner, promises to pay victims’ medical bills



The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the immediate identification and arrest of the owner of the two-storey building that collapsed last night in Abuja.

Ripples Nigeria had reported that the building located at the busy Lagos street, Garki village, Garki II district of Abuja, was said to have collapsed at 11:50pm last night.

Speaking during a visit to the collapsed site, the former Rivers State Governor, described the incident as unfortunate.

The building had at least 39 residents, with two certified dead, and 37 rescued and taken to various hospitals.

The Minister promised to take care of the medical bills of the victims of the incident.

Wike said: “While applauding the ongoing rescue efforts it’s 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 has supported us to rescue not less than 32 lives. It’s 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 don’t lose any more person, and this should be done immediately.

READ ALSO:Many feared dead, others trapped as multi-storey building collapses in Abuja

“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 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. 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, or I don’t like B. I know sometimes government decisions may not be too comfortable with the people, but at 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 sympathise with those who lost their lives, 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.”

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