The Spate of Building Collapses in Ekiti State
By Yemi Olakitan
In recent times, there have been specific building collapses in Ekitis State which has prompted the State Government officials to issues strong warnings to builders in the state in order to prevent future occurrences.
The commissioner for physical planning and urban development in Ekiti State, Hon Karounwi Oladapo recent statements to developers on Saturday is one of such wake up calls to developers in the state to put an end to the Spate of collapsed structures in Ekiti State.
The Commissioner was convinced that the building collapse at Ido, Ekiti would not have occurred if the builders had not departed from approved layout, raising safety concerns.
Although the catastrophe on Thursday last week did not result in any fatalities, Oladapo cautioned non-compliant developers of the government’s resolve to shut any unapproved structures within the state that may wreck havoc on the environment and cause loss of lives.
The commissioner spoke during an on site examination to determine the cause, according to a statement released in Ado Ekiti on Saturday.
He reiterated the state government’s commitment to preventing such accidents in the future.
He said, “the constructed building deviated significantly from the approved plans, posing a severe safety concern, despite the structure being registered and having obtained the required building permit prior to construction.”
On September 3rd, 2023, an event centre collapsed during a burial ceremony in Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Six people were seriously injured in the State resulting in stampede, while cookedfood, drinks ,bottled water, gift items, and personal effects of guests littered the ground.
The building known as F and G Event Centre, located along Ijero-Ido Ekiti road, with over 250 occupants, had its roof and walls receded around 4pm, while being used as a reception venue for a burial ceremony. Injured victims were rushed to a hospital in the metropolis for medical treatment.
The unfortunate incident also led to many sustaining bodily wounds as occupants scampered out of the rubbles for safety, though, there was no record of death.
The development also left the building auditorium and surroundings littered with spilled foods being served to the guests; broken bottles, shoes, male caps, female wigs and headgears.
The State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji sympathized with the victims of the incident.
The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs. Monisade Afuye, on an on the spot assessment of the building collapse and in a visit to Ijero General Hospital, where some victims were receiving treatments on Sunday morning, grieved over the incident, saying the accident was disturbing and saddening.
Addressing the sympathizers, Afuye, directed all relevant agencies of the government to ensure that all the public buildings of that nature are supervised and certified at every stage to avoid unwarranted fatalities.
She said the incident could have been averted, if proper building scrutinies and compliance with specifications were carried out by government agencies, warning that such situation should not be allowed to reoccur in the state.
She assured that the government would map out strategies to make emergency management equipment available in all the local governments to respond to any alarming situation.
“Let me sympathize with the victims of this devastating incident. Nobody prays for bad thing to happen, but we need to be proactive in preventing occurrences of this nature, rather than being reactive .
“We thank God that no life was lost. But as a responsible government, we won’t wait until people die before taking actions that can safeguard their lives. That is why it is most expedient that all government’s agencies must be responsive to their duties all the time”.
The Permanent Secretary, Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency (EKSEMA), Mr. Olajide Borode, who was on the entourage, said the men of Fire Services were immediately deployed to the spot for a rescue operation as soon as he received a distressed call.
“We want to appreciate our people for commencing the rescue operation through evacuation of the occupants out of the building before the Fire Service men came to join them.
“The Ekiti State Bureau of Special Project will be here to do Integrity test on the building to ascertain whether it can be salvaged or be demolished outright”
Also Ekiti State Chief Judge, Justice Oyewole Adeyeye,on July 12th, 2023 escaped death, when a section of the state high court complex collapsed on him while in the office.
Adeyeye was still in his chamber while the unfortunate incident occurred.
The wall collapsed is likely connected to the structural deficit caused by the recent heavy rainfalls.
Honourable Oladapo had. emphasized that “the government is committed to preventing such mishaps, even before any lives are at risk” despite the fact that no fatalities were reported in the incident.
He said that in addition to issuing building licenses, the state administration will also implement thorough supervision of authorized constructions to ensure strict adherence to predetermined parameters, saying building collapse is a danger to the environment since they could cause pollution and loss of lives.
He urged the people of Ekiti to join the administration of Governor Biodun Oyebanji in promoting safety in the state’s building industry.