Abia State Government, on Saturday, demolished a two-storey building near the Government House in Umuahia, in a proactive move to save lives and property.
The rapid response team, comprising the Ministries of Lands and Housing, Power and Public, Utilities; Works, and also the Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA), carried out the demolition while the Nigeria Police Force, Abia State Fire Service, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and Nigerian Society of Engineers, supervised the operation.
The demolition of the building located at 5 Akanu Street in the capital city, according to a statement by Josephine Ogwo, Director of Information in Abia State Ministry of Lands and Housing, followed the alarm raised by occupants of the house, who hurriedly evacuated from it.
The ministry added that visible defects were noticed on the structure, which were sandwiched between two other buildings.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the demolition exercise, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Chaka Chukwumerije, pointed out that the primary objective of the exercise was to save lives.
“The site was quickly cordoned off by UCDA, the road blocked by the fire service, and everyone in the surrounding area evacuated, by the Nigeria Police, in order to preserve public safety and ensure no casualties were recorded.
“The initial efforts to strip the building block by block, in order to preserve the surrounding structures, were deemed unsafe, and quickly replaced by a swift demolishment of the building, while minimizing the damage to surrounding structures,” Chukwumerije said.
Speaking also, the Commissioner for Power and Public Utilities, Ikechukwu Monday, who affirmed that the present administration in the state believes in due process, thanked God that no life was lost, even as he enjoined builders to always engage the services of professionals.
The General Manager of the Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA), Kenneth Agomoh, said Governor Otti would restore the integrity and sanity of buildings in the State and encouraged the public to come forward with any information relating to defective structures.
Agomoh said that he was assured that the Umuahia Capital Development Authority will henceforth, checkmate other defective and illegal structures in the city.