By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 2019 election, Senator Jeremiah Useni has challenged Government Ministries and Agencies responsible for building constructions to rise up to their responsibilities to avoid further loss of lives and property as the result of building collapse.
Useni also appealed to community leaders to take interest in building construction within their localities and ensure landlords comply with relevant laws on building constructions.
He spoke on the heels of Monday evening collapse of a three storey building at Butcher Lane in Jos where the landlord, one Alhaji Kabiru Nalele, a Jos-based businessman, his wife, three daughters, two grand-daughters, a welder who came for repairs, two employees at the Pharmacy the landlord operated in the building and other occupants died.
Three out of the four other people who were injured in the incident and taken to the Plateau State Specialists Hospital for treatment had died and the lone survivor in a critical state, the Acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Philemon Golwa confirmed.
While extending his consolation to the families of the deceased, Senator Jeremiah Useni called on relevant government Ministries and Agencies to rise up to their duties of ensuring safer structures and called on community leaders to educate their people on how to ensure safer buildings to avoid further loss of lives through building collapse.
He said, “This is a sorry situation. While we pray that this does not happen again, we must also take concrete action to guard against building collapse. Our building engineers must use their qualification to supervise constructions very well and insist that the right things be done. Most of the buildings in this part of the city are in bad shape and I expect the Ministries of Works, Environment and Urban Development to have done something about it.
“Community leaders equally have their own roles to play in ensuring building safety. They should educate their people to lay solid foundations that will carry the weight of structures they are putting up. People may say that foundations are expensive, but what can be more costly than the lives we lose whenever buildings collapse? We must do all we can to save lives.”
Meanwhile, the State Government through the State Deputy Governor, Sonni Tyoden has directed the Jos Metropolitan Development Agency, JMDB, an agency saddled with the responsibility of physical planning of the Jos/Bukuru metropolis to demolish all defected structures in the metropolis to avoid a repeat of such incident.
So far, the Acting General Manager of the Board, Kefas Yirwang accompanied by security agencies and supportive community members have commenced with the demolition of a two-storey building which was at the verge of collapse at Mango street in Jos and Yirwang said the exercise would be sustained to rid the metropolis of life threatening structures.