President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the families of those who died, sustained injuries, and was affected by the building collapse in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos State as he prayed for divine assistance in the ongoing rescue operations.
Buhari expressed his sympathy on Monday in a statement through Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, who said that the President is pained by this tragic incident and salutes the courage and determination of the first responders, national and sub-national emergency agencies in Lagos State, and compassionate Nigerians, whose immediate action in the aftermath of the collapse of the three-storey building led to the rescue of several persons.
The president also complained about the frequency of building collapses in the country which has become increasingly embarrassing adding that there is a need to promptly address this problem.
“Regrettably, the President notes that the frequency of building collapses in the country has become increasingly embarrassing, urging the relevant state authorities to work closely with professional bodies to put a halt to these unfortunate but preventable incidents,” the statement read.
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Reports from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) say that at least eight persons comprising five males and three females were recovered dead from the rubble, while Ibrahim Farinloye, NEMA’s southwest Zonal Coordinator confirmed that 23 people have been rescued so far since the structure went down at about 10:56 pm on Sunday.
Since the three-storey building located at No. 38 Ibadan Street off Herbert Macaulay Way in Ebute Metta collapsed, emergency officials like the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), among others, have been on the ground and are still carrying out continued rescue and recovery operations at the site.
It has been reported that the government has marked distressed buildings in that area for demolition while occupants were given a 24-hour ultimatum to vacate the building. Already government officials moved in with an excavator to conduct a partial-controlled demolition which has residents of the marked building running helter-skelter.