This is not the best of times for the good people of our dear state. The high spate of preventable loss of lives from incessant cases of building collapse in the Centre of Excellence is quite worrisome, saddening and disheartening. There is no doubt that you gentlemen of the press are also as concerned as all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians about the problem that seemed to have lingered due to leadership rudderlessness and irresponsibility of relevant authorities. The clear show of insensitivity and ineptitude on the part of the state government is very disturbing.
The recent case of the building collapse in Victoria Island where six (06) people died is one case too many. It is obvious that the death of the victims was preventable. It is a clear case of dereliction of duty and this act is criminal.
This was contained in a statement signed by Head, Media & Communications, JANDOR4Governor Campaign Organization, Mr. Gbenga Ogunleye, made available to Freedom Post.
According to the statement, the admittance of the government that the building had no relevant building approvals indicated yet again, the cluelessness of a Governor who never prepared to govern, but brought by a godfather who has always been compensating his lieutenants with governance of Lagos.
“It is not enough that the government official assigned to the ministry concerned, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development resigned.
“Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu has failed entire Lagosians, not only the victims of this current incident and the over 100 people who died in about 47 cases of building collapse between 2019 to date in the state. The Governor’s failure to ensure due diligence on governance process by engagement of competent personnel established his culpability.
“It is expected that the Governor himself should have resigned instead of the arranged scapegoating of asking his commissioner to quit. He has made several unkept promises to prevent these disasters and the attendant mourning of avoidable deaths. His insensitivity and display of disregard for human lives by showing up at a social event in faraway United States to present an award while the blood of the victims was still warm is condemnable. Very reprehensible”, the statement read.
The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), an advocacy group of built environment professionals, in 2019 had revealed that 36,000 potential collapsed buildings were waiting to happen in Lagos. But this clueless government did nothing to arrest the issue.
According to industry experts, between 2019 and the recent incident, Lagos State officially recorded about 47 building collapse cases, not taking into account those that were not reported such as the Itamaga, Ikorodu incident, Idumota partial building collapse, and another at Shangisha, Magodo among several others.
On November 1, 2021, a 21-storey building in the Ikoyi area of Lagos collapsed in which over 44 persons were confirmed dead.
The tragedy continued on November 2, 2021, when a two-storey building caved in Osapa London, in the Lekki area of Lagos after a midnight downpour.
On November 17, 2021, a two-storey building under construction at Flour Mill Estate, Magbon, in the Olorunda Local Council Development Area in Badagry, collapsed, killing four people.
Ten people were killed when a three-storey building collapsed in the Ebute-Metta area of Lagos in May this year. To mention just a few.
One of the national newspapers had earlier reported that over 200 persons have lost their lives in major building collapse incidents in Lagos State in the last seven years. The tragic collapse of the seven-storey building in Victoria Island does present an opportunity for a responsible government to improve its response to such disasters and prevent a recurrence by enforcing safety regulations, fighting corruption in the process, and partnering with the industry experts as well as relevant professional bodies in ensuring global best practices in monitoring and evaluation.
The ceaseless pains of the good people of Lagos state in the 23 years of bad governance of the ruling party must stop. The clueless and inept Governor will do the people a lot of good by stepping aside.
Lagos PDP as the only credible alternative will birth a breath of fresh air and champion the cause of the masses.
The People’s Governor, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (JANDOR), has sympathized with the families of the victims and assured all residents of the state that the government of the PDP that they are yearning to install in the 2023 general elections will put a stop to the painful episodes.