By Yemi Akintomide
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has cut short his schedule visit to Rome where he was to attend a G-20 Summit.
He was back in Lagos, on the site of the collasped Ikoyi building to inspect the evacuation and rescue efforts being made by the workers.
The Governor who was at the site for inspection at midnight Wednesday, said; “we are racing against time in our rescue bid because we’re aware that every second counts at this crucial period.
“I cut short my official trip to the G-20 Summit in Rome to immediately visit the site around midnight. I have also appointed a six-man independent investigation team that will be led by the President of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, Mr. Tayo Ayinde to probe the immediate cause of the collapsed building. The panel has 30 days to submit its report.”
While Mr. Ayinde will lead the panel, Mr. Ekundayo Onajobi will be the Secretary.
Other members of the panel are a structural engineer, Dr. Akintilo Idris Adeleke; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; representative of Institute of Builders, Mr. Godfrey O. Godfrey, and Mrs. Bunmi Ibrahim, a property lawyer.
The panel’s terms of reference also include ascertaining whether there was a compromise of the building codes by the developer, consultants and statutory regulatory agencies.
Sanwo-Olu promised to be open and thorough in investigating the cause of the collapsed 21-Story building, while the panel will find out who the culprits are.
“The investigation will start from the heads of regulatory agencies. Be rest assured that if there are other people that are found wanting in the course of investigation, everybody will face the full wrath of the law.
“The members of the panel are people of impeccable integrity and I will be signing an executive order to give the panel a legal backing.
“Among other things, the panel will determine if there was full compliance with physical planning and building materials laws of the State; if there was supervisory or oversight lapses on the part of regulatory agencies, and making necessary recommendations to guard against reoccurrence of similar incidents.
“To all the families and loved ones of everyone who lost their lives, there are no words to express my deep sadness.
“And to the families of those who are still missing, please bear with us as we work to ensure we get everyone out.
“All hands are on deck to ensure the queries and concerns of family members are addressed even as rescue efforts continue.
Meanwhile, twenty-two dead bodies were so far, pulled out of the rumbles of the collapsed structure, while nine victims were rescued alive.
In the same vein, Tinubu’s foremost group, The Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation, AGF has expressed high sense of sadness over the lives lost to the Ikoyi building that collapsed on Monday.
In a statement released by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Adeboye Adebayo in Lagos, the foundation expressed worries over the rate at which buildings are collapsing in the country thereby losing a number of useful lives into the avoidable incidents.
”For us in the AGF, we are seriously worried about this building collapses around the country especially the recent one in Gerrard Road, Ikoyi Lagos on Monday where we lost many valuable lives to the avoidable incident. We joined our Principal, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in symphatising with the family of the victims who lost their lives to the tragic incident, we pray God to give the family and lovers of the victims the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss” the statement said.
According to the Statement, the group said; “It is worrisome to see hustling workers who are looking for what to eat and indeed struggling legitimately to put food on the table for their families, meeting their untimely and sudden death at the place of work, it is unacceptable.
Comrade Adeboye Adebayo then urged the relevant authorities to always endeavour to put adequate measure in place to curtail the future occurrence of such ghastly incident.
“As a sign of mourning, we have asked our secretariats across the country to fly the AGF’s flags at half mast on Tuesday and Wednesday till 12:00noon and we are using this medium to call on the Lagos State government under the able leadership of His Excellency Babajide Sanwoolu alongside other relevant government agencies both in the state and at the federal levels to please as a matter of duty put adequate measures in place to curtail future occurrence as we cannot afford to continue loosing our loved ones to such avoidable ghastly incidences when it has pleased God not allow natural disaster to waste us away, we should put every measure in place to avoid wasting ourselves away through human avoidable errors” Adebayo said