Financier- Developer, leader, ASMATU alleged sabotage in collapsed Eke Oyibo Amawbia Toilet building


By Udodirim Oti, Awka

The President of Amawbia Market Amalgamated Traders Association (AMATA), Comrade Daniel Nwokoye and the Financier-Developer of Eke Oyibo Market, Anawbia, Engineer Arinze Anyadiegwu and Awka South Market Amalgamated Traders Union (ASMATU), Ozo Comrade Anayo Nweke are unanimous in their feeling that an act of sabotage was responsible for the collapse of toilet facility at Eke Oyibo Market, Amawbia, Anambra State, on Thursday, July 4, this year.

    The collapse led to death of the carpenter and a male  buyer who was a member of staff of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence  Corps (NSCDC) while three others including the woman who was pulled out after her son rigged out of the heap of debris to raise the alarm that her mother was still trapped underground     

Speaking to newsmen shortly after emerging from the Central Police Station (CPS), Awka where he had gone to make a statement of clean bill, Anyadiegwu alleged sabotage in The Financier-Contractor hinted that evil-minded opportunists might have taken advantage of porous security at the side from where materials were brought to the site to carry out acts that resulted in the disaster.

     He wondered how ordinary  toilet  could collapse out of no fewer than 100 shops he built at the market, citing   unhealthy competition in the process of securing   the contract award.  

The Financier-Contractor denied insinuation that the collapsed structure was as a result of poor engineering work, arguing that he used 16 mm rods, strong materials and standard quality sands and stones in the construction.

“All rods we used are 16 mm used to erect storey building irrespective of the fact that the roof is casted as well.”.

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According to him, “I want to.make it clear that it is a pure sabotage. You won’t believe, we’ve 32 solid pillars with up to five feet deep from the ground to ensure well-fortification of the project.

The Financier-Contractor   lamented: "I am quite angry... I will continue to say this collapsed structure is an act of sabotage, a complete sabotage.

Information has it that sone persons were seen removing the bamboo prematurely and that contributed to the fall. We also hear of pouring of chemical substances. There are people who are celebrating the sad incident and the dead. I tell them to repent because nobody now’s the future.”

Anyadiegwu said: “I am disheartened and sad over the deaths. I have been praying for the bereaved families and injured ones still in the hospital. He said” that he would have been among the casualties, if the hand of fate didn’t stop him from gong to the site on the fateful day, as he usually did and sat beside with the rescued women trader who usually offered him chair to sit and watch the ongoing project under the supervision of one Engineer Emeka.

"I was always at the site to put my eyes on the Site Engineer and other workers  to ensure that the standard is maintained and quality and solid materials used in the construction.  the Site Engineer                 
Chairman of the Eke Amawbia market and his secretary

According to him, he had placed the woman on six months salary and pledged to sponsor her children up to university level. “I have visited the woman at a hospital and she was excited to see me and I assured her the bills will be paid by me. I have out her on a good salary for the next six months. The two sons were also with her there and appreciated tat visited.

         "I went round to see other patients in the hospital and settled their bills and wished them quick recovery. I gave them  hope.           "After that, I contacted the wife of the late carpenter from Ebonyi to console  her that through my foundation, Ralph Arinze Anyadiegwu Foundation (RAAF),  we will intervene  and ensure her four children will not lack. I will support them, The other dead man, I was told he is from Ogidi and last worked with NSCDC. I am   told he is from Ogidi, we'll  also visit the family and show concern.              " But I know that no amount of money will bring back human life back."              

         He expressed sadness in the unfortunate  incident, revealing that on getting  the news in Lagos, he rushed down to see things for himself and visited the families of the deceased ones seriously injured ones.                                                                           

The developer while appreciating the personnel from State Police Command, Red Cross, traders and passers for volunteering in the rescue operations of the victims. expressed hope that the probe panels by State Government COREN and Comrade Anayo Nweke-led ASMATU would do live up to expectations.

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In his remarks, Anyadiegwu’s Site Foreman, Kingsley Onyeka alleged that, less than 48 hours to the collapsed structure, he was surprised to see the suspended Deputy President of the market (name withheld) for the first time near the site and called for his questioning.

 Speaking on the development, the President of AMATA, Comrade Ifesinachi Nwokoye Nwokoye  argued that in the course of the construction, certain access routes were closed with planks, adding that bad elements might have capitalized on the security lapse loophole to  access the construction site.             Nwokoye  asdured that the incident is an eye-opener, adding that his leadership bc would work to beef up security.                  

He alleged that preliminary inquiries by his leadership revealed seeming complicity between the said sacked deputy and those who lost the market election last year with one of the financiers.

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According to him, these collaborators were allegedly working to.remove him from office and hijack power in a bid to impose his deputy, perpetuate impunity and monopolize the award of contracts.

  Meanwhile, ASMATU President-general told newsmen that the report of the Seven-man Panel set up to find out the mediation bc and remote causes of the incident will be submitted this weekend.                  

Ozo Comrade Nweke called for calm and expressed sadness at the unfortunate incident while thanking the Financier-Contractor for his timely visit to the site, families of the end and seriously injured.

He also thanked the Police, ACTDA, Red Cross, traders and other volunteers who in one way or the other contributed to the rescue operations after the collapse of the structure.

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