… Osinbajo lauds rescue response
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday expressed satisfaction with the effort and prompt response of emergency, rescue operators and security agencies at the collapsed building scene at Jabi, Abuja. The four-storey building under construction at Jabi District of Abuja had collapsed, killing one person, while many were feared trapped. The incident, it is coming barely one week after the Federal Capital Territory Agency (FCDA) demolished an uncompleted two-storey building at the elite zone of Gwarrinpa, said to have signs of partial collapse. Osinbajo, who visited the scene about 6.47 p.m, said all hands were on deck to rescue and save the lives of those who could have been trapped in the building.
He said all the agencies concerned were present, including the necessary equipment to rescue the trapped persons. “I am quite satisfied with the level of activities to ensure that this very unfortunate incident is not made worse by loss of lives. “So, I think that as far as the whole process of ensuring that those who may be trapped under this collapsed building, the whole process of ensuring that they are rescued is well under way,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the building located at the Jabi District, Abuja, collapsed at about 1.30 p.m. The Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, who was also at the scene, and commended the rescue personnel for their prompt response. He said after the rescue operations, proper investigations would be carried out on the incident. As at the time of this report, NAN gathered that there were over 15 workers in the building, six persons were said to have been rescued so far with one dead. It was gathered that the collapsed building, said to have been abandoned to rot for over 15 years, allegedly became an abode for some homeless people who were forced to quit after the owner recently resumed construction works.
The incident, which occurred at 1:20pm while workers were still at the building, indicated that those trapped include workers, children and food vendors. It was also gathered that eight people had been rescued, while one person loshis life. Among those rescued was the site engineer who had his two legs broken. An eye witness, Stephen Nmaduabuchi, said the building collapsed on both construction workers and some women and children who were selling in the site. According to him, some corpses were recovered from the ruins of the collapsed building.
Though he could not ascertain the actual casualty, one of the rescue operation officers, from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who declined to mention his name said that many corpses had been seen from the rubble, but the official statement shall be given at the end of the rescue operation. Meanwhile, NEMA, FCTA officials, the police and other law enforcement agents were at the scene of the incident at the time of filling this report.
Army begins `Crocodile Smile III’ exercise in Niger Delta
The Nigerian Army says it has commenced Operation Crocodile Smile III exercise across the states of the Niger Delta to stem the tide of pipeline vandalism in the region.
This is contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Tuesday by the Acting Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Lt. Tayo Oluwafemi of 2 Brigade Nigerian Army.
According to him, the exercise which started on Monday October 22 would last till November 22, 2018.
“In line with the Army Headquarters Training Directive for Year 2018 which tasked Headquarters 6 Division, Port Harcourt to organize above mentioned exercise, the exercise is going to take place within the States in the Niger Delta Region including Akwa Ibom State.
“In view of this, Headquarters 2 Brigade, Uyo will from Monday 22 October to 22 November 2018 conduct Exercise Crocodile Smile III.
“This is aimed at stemming the tide of pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries/bunkering, kidnapping, cultism and other related crimes, “ he said.
He added that other activities to be carried out include; Medical Outreaches, Sanitation Exercise, Distribution of items to Orphanages, Distribution of Sporting Equipment to Schools, Distribution of items to Market Women and Sinking of Borehole in selected Local Government Areas.
He warned members of the public that there would be movement of troops and equipment and advised them not to panic.
He urged members of the public especially residents of Ikot Abasi and Mbo Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom to keep away from the exercise area. (NAN)
Minister, ambassador decry state of Lagos-Badagry road
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema and Nigeria Ambassador to Benin Republic, Mr Kayode Oguntuase, have decried the deplorable state of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that they made their views known while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday on the sidelines of the opening of the Joint Border Post by Nigeria and Benin Republic at Seme-Krake, Badagry, Lagos State.
Onyema, who noted that the facility would have positive economic impact on both countries, said the envisaged free movement of persons, goods and services would be hindered by the condition of the road.
“It is totally unacceptable, the condition of the road from Lagos to this place and something has to be done to address it.
“You cannot be talking about the free movement of people and goods without the prerequisite infrastructure to facilitate that free movement.
“So we on the Nigeria side have to do something about it,” he said.
On his part, Oguntuase said the current state of the road, which was one of the busiest highways in the West African sub-region, was an embarrassment to Nigeria.
“We know that government will soon do the needful to fix it. Initially we heard that it was World Bank but I understand that it has been transferred to Nigeria because we wanted to expand the lanes.
“Now that we have taken it over, we should commence action because this is the major linkage to Nigeria and to our commercial city, Lagos,” he said.
The envoy congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and the President of Benin Republic, Mr Patrice Talon, for the opening of the JBP, stressing that it would deepen bilateral relationship between both countries.
Oguntuase said: “The border post is strategic and the busiest entry point into the country. It is going to ease the movement of persons, services and goods according to the Economic Community of West African States liberalisation policy.
“Apart from that, this border is also important for combating, for preventing, for neutralising anything that could be a security threat to Nigeria. That is why we are very happy that the border is being opened today.
“It will lead to increase in revenue generation because before now, people were using the porous borders to escape from paying some of the tariffs and custom duties.”
I will campaign vigorously for Sanwo-Olu, Buhari- Ambode
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said he would lead a strong campaign to ensure victory for President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in the State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the 2019 general elections.
Governor Ambode, who spoke to journalists at the Presidential Wing of the Muritala Mohammed International Airport shortly after he accompanied President Buhari to perform the official commissioning of the new Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Border Posts at Seme-Krake joint border post in Badagry, said it was important for the APC to retain its leadership positions both in the federal and the State level.
“I have just accompanied Mr. President to the Nigerian-Benin Border Post. So what we have commissioned today is a joint Border Patrol post between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin and it is called Semo-Krake Border Post.
“But again, just to also use this opportunity to let Lagosians know that we are heavily committed to the re-election of Mr. President and you can see that his continuous visit to Lagos reiterates the fact that he is actually a lover of Lagos State and I am committed to ensuring his re-election.
“We are going to campaign heavily for him. I am also committed to ensuring that the APC wins the governorship election come 2019. We support the candidacy of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and we would make sure that APC retains Lagos State and the centre,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, Governor Ambode had received President Buhari at the airport before the duo proceeded to Seme where the President joined his Republic of Benin counterpart, Patrice Talon to inaugurate the Border Post.
With the inauguration, the Seme-Krake joint border, one of the busiest boundary lines not only in West Africa but the whole continent, daily recording huge movement of persons, goods and services, is expected to enhance the free movement of persons and goods in the region and foster integration between the people of Nigeria and Benin.
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