By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
Umuahia, Sept. 17, 2020 Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has ordered the immediate suspension of the Executive Secretary of Aba South Local Government Town Planning Authority over the collapse of a three story building in Aba.
Ikpeazu gave the order on Thursday when he paid an assessment visit to the site of a three story building under construction on Azikiwe road, which collapsed on Wednesday.
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 indicate that the building’s plan was yet to be approved, adding that on-site evaluations showed that sub-standard materials were used in constructing the structure.
He directed the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), and Aba South Local Government Council Town Planning Authority to commence full and safe demolition of the building.
Ikpeazu called on the agencies to deploy additional excavators and tippers to the site immediately to assist in the removal of debris.
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 had happened in the near future,” Ikpeazusaid.
He warned against indiscriminate construction of high rise buildings without proper approval and supervision, and assured that the government would not hesitate to deal decisively with any defaulter.
Ikpeazu further warned all those involved in construction and used their materials to block drainage in Aba, especially Osusu road to desist from such practices, adding 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. Government will get to the bottom of the situation,” he added.
He expressed his condolences to those who lost their loved ones in the building collapse and described the situation as unfortunate.