Abia State Government has urged residents and passers-by along the Port Harcourt Road, Aba 6-way lane road project it is handling to exercise caution while the project lasts.
In a press release by the state Honorable Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the state had “received with sadness the report of the loss of a life arising from residents’ voluntary effort to remove an illegal structure along Port Harcourt road, Aba, which is currently under reconstruction by Setraco-Hartland construction company”.
Initial reports available to the state government he said, indicated that in the course of removing illegal attachments to a property by its owners, “the building collapsed and unfortunately killed a non-resident engaged in petty trading activity around the property.
“Our hearts are with the family and friends of the deceased, even as we continue efforts to trace her next of kin.
“While we appreciate the cooperation and exemplary support of the residents and landlords association of Port Harcourt road, to ensure that we quickly realize a new 6-lane road from the long abandoned but critically important Port Harcourt road Aba, it is important to call on residents and landlords to abide by our safety rules and protocols including complete evacuation of people living in or doing business around a marked property before commencing demolition of extensions and illegal structures.
“It is important to remark at this point that this has been the focus of the advocacy drive by the Ministry of Works even before the commencement of this huge project.
“No resident or landlord will henceforth be permitted to remove illegal structures without relevant supervisors from the ministry of works”.
The state government he said “extends our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and sympathizes with others who lost properties as a result of the collapse of the building”.