Says its to forestall further loss of lives
By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Nnewi
The Anambra State, government weekend demolished unhabitable buildings gutted by tanker fire of October 16th, 2019 at Upper Iweka, which spread to Emodi and Amobi Streets, Ziks Avenue and part of Ochanja Central Market, all in Fegge, Onitsha South Local Government Area of the state.
The demolition was to avoid more casualty having lost over five traders in the fire incident and in fulfillment of the promise it made to assist the victims of the tanker fire accident to go back to business and to assist landlords of the affected buildings to rebuild their houses.
While the government assisted the affected traders mobilized financial support from sympathizer and relations to go back into business, the Shopping Plaza owners had since the incident been battling to demolish the remaining part of their damaged building, evacuate the debris in preparation for rebuilding them.
However, help came from the Anambra State Government, which through the Anambra State Physical Planning Board ANSPPB, in collaboration with the building owners mobilized Catapiller to pull down the buildings.
Speaking with newsmen at the site of the demolition exercise, the Acting General Manager, of ANSPPB, Mr. Nwabufo Anene, said: “We are here to demolish remove the remaining part of the burnt buildings of 15th October 2019 inferno, caused by fuel tanker that fell at Upper Iweka, which spread to this place and burnt people to death and destroyed buildings.”
“The exercise is to forestall further loss of life and to assist the building owners to evacuate the debris in preparation for rebuilding their houses.
“As you can see those buildings are no longer habitable, the government in collaboration with the landlords wants to replan the whole place so that it will be accessible in the event of any future occurrence.
“So what was obtainable here before, cannot be the same after the government intervention, each and every property survey plan will be presented to determine the perimeter area before rebuilding.
“We will monitor the rebuilding process to ensure adequate guidelines that will enable the fire service to access buildings and the market at the back in the event of any future fire outbreak.”
“The landlords will bring out their survey plan, put up their building plan drawing, which we will inspect and monitor, while the project is ongoing.”
The Chairman of the Landlords Association of the affected victims and owner of No 23 Emodi Street Mr. Chinedu Okonkwo, thanked Governor Obiano for keeping to his promise of assisting the victims.
He recalled that 24 Emodi Street building collapsed on December 26, 2019, but without any casualty, “and to forestall further danger to life and the environment, the government with the consent of the property owners mobilize to assist in pulling down other affected building that could collapse any moment.”
“This single act of the governor shows that he actually sympathized with us, just as he promised to help us, that he will help us to rebuild the Plazas and make it environmentally friendly and befitting place to do business.
“What you see here happening today is with the consent of the building owners, we are doing this thing together with the government after today each of individual property owners will be developing their building plan which will be submitted to the state government for approval.