The Imo State Government has announced the immediate suspension of all town planners in the local government areas of the state where four storey buildings collapsed within three days.
The state also suspended supervisors within the Owerri Capital Development Area where the buildings collapsed.
A statement issued on Sunday by Uche Onwuchekwa, Special Adviser on Media to the Deputy Governor of the State, Eze Madumere, stated that the government had commenced investigation into the remote causes of the collapsed buildings which claimed lives and injured others.
According to the statement, the government has vowed to prosecute those whose actions and carelessness caused the tragedy.
The statement read in part, “It is disheartening that our state could in less than four days experience four incidents of collapsed building. This has once again called to question the qualification of the building or civil engineers behind this substandard constructions and standard of materials used in the construction of these buildings.
“While in Oforola, barefacedly, one could also notice abdication of responsibility on the part the town planners of the local government as those concerned throughout the time of search and rescue operations were conspicuously absent. I hereby direct that all those involved be suspended.
“Imo State Government shall not fail to ensure that those whose carelessness caused this unfortunate loss of innocent lives are brought to book. I must commend the quick response of various government agencies with that of the vigilant and proactive youth of Oforola whose efforts saved six lives.
“I therefore commend Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations/Chairman, Bureau of Lands, Engr. Kingsley Uju; GM, OCDA, Dr. Mrs. Chika Nnajiofor; Adviser to the governor on health, Dr. Edward Ihejirika, the commissioner of police for their rapid response.”
It will be recalled that between Thursday and Saturday, four buildings collapsed in the state and claimed three lives.
A three-storey building along the Umuguma Hospital Road Junction in the Owerri West Local Government Area of the state; four-storey building at Ulakwo Junction in the Owerri North LGA, three-storey building along the Federal University of Technology, Owerri; and a storey-building at Oforola community in the Owerri West LGA of the state all collapsed.