June 13, 2024

How five storey building collapsed in Onitsha

How five storey building collapsed in Onitsha

…number of casualties not yet disclosed, journalists barred from entering the building site

By Chimaobi Nwaiwu

A five storey multi million naira building being constructed by the Old Boys Association of Dennis Memorial Grammar School, DMGS, Onitsha Tuesday night collapsed to the foundation level.

The building which is at the ruffing level was the cynosure of all eyes before it collapse following its architectural design and the speed with which the project was going on.

Nobody has been able to ascertain the number of casualties as the security men to the school and those attached to the All Saints Cathedral Onitsha cordoned off the scene and entry gate into the compound of DMGS, where the building is sited.

When Vanguard visited the scene of the incident, the security men attached to the school and All Saints Cathedral which is directly opposite DMGS, were not allowed entry, as many newsmen and sympathizers were seen outside the gate as it is the only entry through which the collapsed structure could be accessed.

When Vanguard approached one of the security men the gate of the school, he said that the instruction given to them by the Board of Directors supervising the project was that nobody should be allowed to enter into the compound.

He said that the Board of Directors was having a meeting with an unidentified Commissioner in the State, saying that it is only the Board of Directors of the project that will determine who will be allowed to enter.

Contacted the Director of Communication, Diocese on the Niger which owns DMGS, Sir Oseloka Offor, said “The building was undertaken by the Old Boys Association of DMGS Onitsha.

“Necessary procedures for the construction work were followed.  Necessary project survey carried out.

Also necessary soil tests were done before project commencement. We will get back to you on what actually happened.”

However, an aggrieved Old Boy of DMGS, who pleaded anonymity, said that from the constitution of the building committee and the Board that is overseeing the construction of the building, he doubted the project.

“You see when stingy people are in charge of anything, the result is always “penny wise pound foolish”. I knew from the day one that this collapsed building is a doubt. The people in charge are just a selected group of people known for their selfishness.

“They are not only selfish, but stingy, they will not give the contractors breathing space to do their work because they know all. And when you prove to know all, the result is what we are seeing here today.

“Is unfortunate that this is happening in a school owned run by Diocese on the Niger, that has carried out numerous building project without this kind of incident happening.

“How were the contractors selected, what criteria were used in selecting them, what criteria was used in selecting the members of the building committee and the so called Board overseeing the project.”