DMGS CENTENARY BUILDING COLLAPSE: ANGLICAN BISHOPS ORDER INVESTIGATION, SYMPATHISE WITH DIOCESE ON THE NIGER

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By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu,Awka

Anglican Bishops, Province of the Niger, Anglican Communion led by
Archbishop of the Province, and Bishop Awka Diocese, the Most Rev Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim,PhD yesterday converged at the site of the collapsed DMGS centenary building where they had extensive chain prayers.

The Bishops ordered investigation on the cause of the collapse and sympathized with the Diocese of the Niger.

In his speech shortly after the prayers, Archbishop Ibezim explained that the House of Bishops of the province and their parishioners deeply felt the disaster and decided to cominsurate with the diocese of the Niger.

The archbishop had in his speech explained that because God is always with His people, the tragedy could not go beyond what happened.
He said, “It could have been a tragedy because a lot of lives could have been lost. But God is with His people, He did not allow the wishes of our enemies to come to pass.
“Anybody seeing this site will know that God is a living God. And even to say that maybe only one life was lost, shows that this God is a miraculous God. And shows the children schooling here are innocent children. And the teachers are innocent teachers.
“We will, in fact, join the Diocese on the Niger, so that if the bishop will agree, they will have thanksgiving in all the churches. Just to thank God, because God saved the Church from embarrassing tragedy.
“So we, as the Province, are standing with the Diocese on the Niger, especially during this difficult time. We now stand on the word of God to encourage Bishop Owen and the entire Diocese on the Niger because God has saved us all from embarrassment*, the archbishop said.
Responding in a short vote of thanks, the host Bishop, the Rt Rev Dr Owen Nwokolo, had on behalf of the diocese, the Old Boys and current students of the DMGS commended the bishops and the entire province for sympathising with them in their difficult moment.

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He profoundly appreciated the bishops for the solidarity which he said they had exhibited in the course of the disaster, thanking them for the support he remarked they had so far extended to the diocese.
Bishop Nwokolo officially announced that the diocese, the DMGS authorities and the Old Boys of the school had constituted a strong body of enquiry to imperically ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the collapse of the Centenary Building.
He described nine members of the panel as very credible people in building and construction, knowledgeable in societal management and law and people who could not be pushed around.
According to him, the body is made up of:

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Anglican Bishops, Province of the Niger, who converged as early as 9am Tuesday, June 18, 2024, made a sympathy visit to the Diocese on the Niger over the ill-fated Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS) Centenary Building site in Onitsha, Anambra State, describing the disaster as a very unfortunate experience.
While emphasising that the church needed protection, dignity and respect, the bishops called on the government to do her expected work and to have confidence in the Church and carry her along.

  • Hon. Justice Pete Obiora (Justice of the Appeal Court of Nigeria) as Chairman.
  • Barr Sir Andy Obianwu: Secretary,
  • Arc. Sir Shed Onwuasonya: Member,
  • Dr Azuka Onweluzo: Member,
  • Egr Ofodile Anieto : Member,
  • Arc Peter Okpala: Member,
  • Sur. Samuel Akabogu: Member
  • Engr Chukwunonso Igboka: Member and
  • Arc Kingsley Ibekwe: Member.
    According to the bishop, among the terms of reference for the panel include:
    *To examine the administrative and technical processes followed during the building to ensure that proper procedures were followed.
  • To study the building plans to ensure that they meet the expected standards.
  • To enquire whether approval was sought and obtained from from the approving authority for the building to proceed.
  • To enquire whether the architectural design of the building was by a qualified architect registered with Architects Registration Council of Nigeria,
  • To enquire whether the structural design of the building was by a structural engineer registered with COREN and
  • TO ensure whether the building was properly supervised during the actual construction of the project.
    The bishop said that the panel had one month to submit its report, adding that if the body needed extra time, it would be obliged it.

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