BY CHIDI NKWOPARA, OWERRI.
The multi-million Naira Princess Hotel, Okigwe, being constructed by Imo State Government, has collapsed.
Vanguard investigation revealed that the structure, which was still at its early stages, crumbled after the concrete beams were put in place by the contracting firm.
It was also gathered that no life was lost in the incident but a civil engineer, who spoke on strict grounds of anonymity, blamed the crash on substandard materials or a possible plan by the contractor to cut corners.
Reacting to the incident, the Senior Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, described the hotel as “an on-going project that has not got to a level one would say it has collapsed”.
While saying that the project is still at its elementary stage, Onwuemeodo however explained that “what fell down was the form-work for the reinforced concrete slab, which the engineers handling the project said could not have fallen without being hit with hard object”.
Answering a question, Onwuemeodo said that the suspicion that the form-work for the reinforced concrete slab was forced down with a strong object has been taken note of and the government has already taken steps to investigate the suspicion of sabotage.
The SSA further said that the engineer’s claim “has also raised the issue of sabotage”, stressing that the people who had rushed to the media to raise the alarm that the Princess Hotel has collapsed are the same people who have been telling their audience that the project does not exist.
“It is therefore unfortunate that few elements in the state have decided not to see the numerous achievements of the state government in less than three years, but are only interested in negative stories about the government”, the SSA said.