By Chijindu Emeruwa
Alex Otti, financial Expert and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has blamed alleged failure of relevant government authorities to save lives in the collapsed building at Azikwe Road Aba.
This was contained in a press release issued by Otti’s Media Assistant, Ferdinand Ekeoma and made available to newsmen, Friday evening.
Otti regretted the absence of modern earth-moving equipment and failure of government agencies, like the fire service to arrive the scene of the disaster several hours after the collapse, especially when trapped victims were helplessly screaming for assistance.
He used the medium and condoled to the victims of the collapsed building.
But, Akelicious had reported that the Abia State Government had declared the developer of a building in Aba, Mr Emmanuel Ohaka, wanted for alleged complicity in the death of three persons(victims), on Wednesday.
The State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Kalu, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Thursday, said the developer was being wanted for alleged sharp practices in the collapsed property
According to the Information Commissioner, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, ordered the Commissioner of Police in the state to ensure the immediate arrest and prosecution of the developer and the site engineer, Mr Bassey Afokwalam.
However, Alex Otti, in the press release posited, “the absence of modern earth-moving equipment is a sad narrative of government’s inexplicable insensitivity and reckless devaluation of lives of citizens. The essence of governance stands defeated when its topmost hallmark which is the protection of life of citizens is fatally debased and relegated beyond an acceptable limit, therefore the latest tragedy which has unfortunately consumed innocent lives of fellow citizens, should re-awaken government’s consciousness and sense of duty,as well as instil a new sense of discipline and responsibility required to rejig moribund government agencies and agents charged with the responsibility of responding to such tragedies”.
He therefore warned landlords and engineers to desist from flouting government established guidelines for constructions of any kind, and insisted that if the agency/agencies charged with the responsibility of monitoring such constructions showed diligence and sincerity, the owner and the engineer would have been either punished for trying to violate government’s set guidelines for construction of building, or at least prevented from using the alleged substandard materials used for the construction.