I Was In Rome When I Heard About Ikoyi Building Collapse, Says Sanwo-Olu


Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has explained why he did not visit the scene of the Ikoyi building collapse immediately after the incident occurred.

According to the governor he had to cut short his official trip to Rome for G20 Summit where he was invited for a speaking engagement.

The governor during his visit to the scene of the incident on Wednesday explained he got a call that informed him about the building collapse in Lagos. This resulted in him making a u-turn and returning to the country.

I think it’s important for me to let you know where I have been in the last one-and-a-half days. I actually travelled out of Nigeria in the early morning of Sunday. I had to travel to Rome to attend the G20 Summit in Rome.

“There was a side conference by the European Commission for African and Asia and I was invited to a speaking engagement and so we had engagement throughout Sunday night and also on Monday.

“Unfortunately, I was actually on the rostrum speaking on Monday when I got a call of what had happened here in Lagos and I had to turn back because I was also due to go to the COP26 Climate change conference where I had a speaking engagement but we had to terminate and truncate that and made a turnaround back to Lagos,” Governor Sanwo-Olu explained.

He also gave insights into the activities he did, immediately he touched down at Lagos airport.

The governor said he headed straight to the scene of the collapse as early as 1.00 am where he encouraged rescue workers and a chain of control and command was created to ease the operations.

“I was on site last night, straight from the airport and I was here for over two hours. Of course, an active rescue operation was ongoing and I encouraged all the men that were working because some of them had indeed been working for the last 12 hours and we had to create a clear chain of control and command – which is why you have some of the canopies that are out here now.

“And to have a clear process where families, press, and the general public could get answers to questions they might have and we all can indeed learn from this moving forward.”

A Monumental Loss

The collapse of a 21-storey building on Gerrard road, Ikoyi on Monday, November 1 has left many families in misery.

Governor Sanwo-Olu speaking at the site on Wednesday said the incident is a monumental and national loss.

“Let me start by expressing my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of people that might have been involved in this very unfortunate, tragic, monumental national loss.

“This is an event that could be described as a clear national disaster. This is an event that one can say that indeed, mistakes were made from all angles and this is an event that truly, really, should not be happening in a modern-day city like Lagos.

Secondly, I want to also thank and commend all of the first responders, the very gallant men, that have been here for almost two days now; that have also been working to see how they can bring as many survivors as possible. It’s been a very very difficult journey for all of them and our government is putting on record that we appreciate their work and we will continue to ensure that whatever needs to be done to get to the root cause of this will certainly be done.”

Meanwhile, emergency workers on Wednesday morning recovered two more bodies from the rubble of the collapsed building.

The rescue operation so far has accounted for 30 people – nine alive and 21 dead.

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