The Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has expressed sympathy over the death of a 13-year old girl in a building collapse disaster that happened in Igede- Ekiti, headquarters of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area, on Tuesday.
The governor, described the incident as devastating and agonising, calling on occupants of dilapidated buildings across the state to relocate to safeguard their lives.
Oyebanji said this, on Tuesday, during his visit to the site of the building collapse, where a couple, had lost a 13-year old girl, with parents and two other siblings, got trapped and injured in a storey building collapse and now receiving treatments in the hospital.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, also visited Adeyinka Adebayo General Hospital, where some of the victims are receiving medicare to show sympathies and wish them quick recuperation.
Commenting on the incident, Oyebanji revealed that the government will foot the medical bills of the victims, while directing the Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency(EKSEMA) to arrange for another habitable residence for the embattled family.
Oyebanji revealed that he has directed the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani to oversee the medical treatments of the victims and ensure that they are given the best to fasttrack their full recovery.
To forestall such occurrence in the state, Oyebanji said the Ministry of Physical and Urban Planning, would begin aggressive enforcement of laws that would dislodge those living in dangerously unhabitable buildings across the state.
Oyebanji said the government has existing laws that govern building habitation, saying this would be stringently executed to halt reoccurence of such sordid and devastating scenario.
The governor appealed to the victims’ family to take the sadness with equanimity, promising that the government shall take all necessary actions to support those receiving treatments to bring them back to their feet sound and safe.
“This is one incident that really saddened my heart. How could we lost precious human life to such an avoidable circumstance? The building must have been giving some signs for long.
” If you check very well, the adjoining buildings are not even safe. The government agents will visit here soon to assess those houses and probably pull them down.
“I sympathise with the family and admirers of the victims. This is indeed a trying time for all of us, but we must learn one or two lessons from this and take actions that would safeguard our lives by being careful with the choice of buildings we will live in.
“We have enough regulations and extant laws that guide building residency in Ekiti and our people should comply while trying to apply these laws; it is for their own benefit, which is to ensure safety and avoidable loss of the precious lives of our people.
“We want to appeal to our people, especially those still living in residence suspected to be dilapidated to quickly relocate, so that nobody will suffer such calamity again in our dear state”.
One of the children of the landlord, Lanre Olagunju, who received the entourage, disclosed that the incident occured around 2am on Tuesday and confirmed that one casualty was recorded.
Olagunju further revealed that the building didn’t give prior notice or suspicion before the sudden collapse, saying other occupants of the other wing of the building had immediately relocated after a close shave with death.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Council, Chief Babatola Ogundana, disclosed that the council had marked some buildings in Igede Ekiti for demolition, calling on the state government to swing into action and implement this for the safety of the people.
Ogundana appreciated the governor for his swift response and actions taken to assuage the feelings of the victims, saying these further confirmed that Oyebanji is running a people-centric government.
Also on the entourage of the governor, was the Permanent Secretary, EKSEMA, Mr. Jide Borode, among other top government functionaries .