From PETER OKORE, Umuahia
Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has promptly intervened in the case of a building, housing about 15 shops inside the Shopping Centre Market, Zone 13, in Aba, which broke apart and suddenly caved- in , Wednesday, just as traders were getting ready to open their shops for the day’s business.
He has, therefore, ordered immediate evacuation and seal-off of the block of shops and also dispatched his state Commissioner for Information, Prince Okey Kanu and the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Aba Rejuvenation, Mr. Uche Ukeje, to the scene for an on-the-spot assessment of the incident.
Eyewitnesses say there was no report of loss of lives or injury to traders and visitors to the shopping complex, as those within promptly escaped when they heard cracks and raised alarm of unusual noise on the walls of the building.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Chief Press secretary to the governor, Mr Kazie Uko states that Dr. Otti has ordered that an integrity test be conducted on all the other near-by shops in the market to guard against a repeat of such occurrence.
Governor Otti, has since commiserated with traders whose shops were affecte He described the incident as unfortunate and avoidable, saying it was part of “the rot of the past administration” that the present government is trying to correct.
His words: “Reports reaching me from traders in the market suggest that this tragic and unfortunate incident is as a result of greed by officials of the past administration.
“I understand that additional structures were erected on existing floors of the affected building, not minding the negative impact and structural defect such would have on the building.
“The consequence of that indiscretion is this avoidable tragedy of collapsed block of shops. We, however, thank God that there is no loss of life or injury to anyone”.