Aisha Buhari (2nd right) at a hospital in Lagos

Aisha Buhari visits Lagos building collapse survivors

NEWS DIGEST–Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Saturday, visited victims of the Lagos collapsed building at the Island General Hospital to sympathise with them.

This came just as the Lagos State Government, on Saturday, continued with the demolition of defective structures on Lagos Island following the tragedy which left many dead, including schoolchildren and several others injured.

Also, the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, Lagos Chapter, declared that the engineer in charge of the collapsed was not its member.

At the Lagos Island General Hospital, the wife of the President offered her condolences to the victims of the incident and took time to visit women and children wards of the hospital and prayed to God to grant the families that lost loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.

The president’s wife also wished those still on admission speedy recovery.

The wife of the President was accompanied to the hospital by a former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), and a former deputy governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen.

One of the discharged victims, Ibidunni Ayeni (27), said she lost her mother to the disaster.

“My mother died during the collapse. I tried to take her out but she was badly injured. I was taken to the hospital but discharged after an X-ray was carried out. I am homeless for now,” she said.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Gani Kale, said 10 children were admitted in the facility after the incident.

He said three out of the patients had been discharged, having certified their medical fitness, adding that there was no case of referral to another hospital.

Meanwhile, at least, five structures were demolished between Friday and Saturday, according to findings by SUNDAY PUNCH after a visit to the sites of the ongoing demolition exercise along Apatire Street and Dagara Street on Lagos Island.

The Lagos State Building Control Agency on Friday began the demolition of defective buildings on Freeman Street, Ita Faji and Isale Eko.

The demolition, which continued on Saturday, saw workers bringing down defective structures manually. Specifically at 15, Apatira Street and Dagara Street respectively, former residents of the building were seen roaming around the area in dejection.

Public Relations Officer of LASBCA, Titilayo Ajirotutu, said over 80 buildings had been earmarked for demolition, adding that those marked for destruction had undergone normal structural tests.

She said, “We have identified over 80 buildings on Lagos Island that will be demolished due to faulty structures. The buildings went through the normal structural tests before they were certified to be demolished, it is a process.

“We have issued notice of forfeiture to the owner of the collapsed building and the process is ongoing. But according to the law, all those that are being demolished with not be claimed by government. It is only when a building collapses that we would take over the land. The demolition exercise will take some time.”

One of the former residents of 15 Apatira Street that was being demolished, Mrs Bose Gafar, admitted that they were informed before the exercise was carried out.

Gafar, a mother of four, said, “They gave us three months to relocate but the time has not elapsed before this demolition. I believe it is this collapse that has fast tracked this demolition.”

At least, 350 persons are being fed daily by a group of professionals under the aegis of Nigerian Arise for Itafaji.

Project Coordinator of the On Site Relief Centre, Jane Ivhurie, said the feeding would continue for at least a month until those displaced were settled.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Saturday, the Chairman of Lagos NICE, Lola Adetona, said the institution had checked its records and saw that the engineer was not a member of NICE and the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

She said, “We felt bad about the event that took place on Wednesday, March 14, where innocent children lost their lives. We join Nigerians to commiserate with the family members of the affected people. But we say boldly that the engineer who supervised the collapsed building is not our member. As a matter of fact, registered engineers are not involved in most of the buildings that have collapsed in recent years.”