By Owoleye Oluwakayode
The Ogun State Government at the weekend declared that any building (public or private) that is posing threats to life and other property in the state would be pulled down once they fail integrity test.
The state government said it cannot compromise citizens’ welfare and wellbeing in the name of managing sub-standard structures, and with a view to ensuring better physical planning environment for sustainable development and averting needless loss of lives and property.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, made the declaration sequel to the pulling down of a block of classrooms at Nazareth High School, Imeko in Imeko Afon Local Government Area of the state.
The building, which recently became distressed, partially collapsed on a group of students killing one and injuring two others in the process, and was demolished at the weekend on the instruction of the governor.
The Governor further directed the immediate reconstruction of the demolished block of classrooms and hinted that any other public building found to be distressed would be pulled down and reconstructed.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Kunle Somorin, the demolition was supervised by the State Commissioner for Housing, Chief Jamiu Omoniyi, and other top government officials to ensure the exercise was properly carried out.
According to the statement, “The state carried out the demolition of the school building in a larger public interest.
“The building was discovered to have become weak and could collapse and injure more students if not demolished. We’ll rather pull such weak and aged structures down than allow pupils’ lives to be endangered.”
It also hinted that no effort would be spared to prevail on owners of weak buildings whether premises, schools or private residences to ensure due process and best practices in consonance with the State Building Control Regulations.
“Any building at all that poses threats to life and property within the state will be pulled down because we cannot compromise citizens’ welfare and wellbeing in the name of managing sub-standard structures, and with a view to ensuring better physical planning environment for sustainable development and averting needless loss of lives and property.
“All identified highly distressed structures, particularly public buildings like schools, hospitals, maternity or health centres, will be tested for their structural integrity to be determined, and where they fail the integrity test, such buildings will be pulled down and reconstructed,” the Governor said in the statement.