2 Killed, Others Injured As Akwa Ibom Gov’t Demolishes Buildings

2 Killed, Others Injured As Akwa Ibom Gov’t Demolishes Buildings

Two persons have been killed while five others sustained varying degrees of injury in the ongoing reclamation of Uyo – Ewet community in Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State currently under threat of gully erosion.

A resident of the community, Akaniyene Udobong explained that tragedy struck when a two – storey building by Dominic Utuk Street collapsed to the ground as local artisans tried to chop – off the concrete blocks at the top floor of the building.

“The two persons that died were on top of the last floor of the two -storey building trying to break the concrete blocks with a ‘Monday hammer’, but suddenly it caved-in from the top and the people were buried under the rubble.

“By the time emergency rescue team dug them out from under the piled concrete, they were already dead and their remains evacuated. Others sustained injuries with one very critical, as his two legs were seriously battered by the weight of the crash,” he recalled.

Narrating the incident, another victim said, “I escaped death by the whiskers because I was thrown far away from the site, but my hammer was buried underneath the concrete pile.”

However, stranded residents have decried the sudden demolition of buildings without prior notice, lamenting that “all our properties have been buried in the rubbles of the destroyed buildings.”

“I was called from my workplace to come and pack my properties, what I could only salvaged was my television set, the rest went down the drains,” another resident, who identified himself as Uduak Ette, recalled.

“We all voted for this government, and it owes us a duty to protect our welfare. We should be given notice, but the government just came in and pulled down our shelters without notification and plans for compensation.

“The most annoying of all is that the Commissioner for Lands, Capt. Iniobong Ekong (rtd) is said to have promised to send estate valuers to come later to assess the value of each structure; the question is, do they value the cost of building after demolition?,” he asked.

Recall that Governor Umo Eno had ordered immediate relocation of residents of the affected areas to avert the looming humanitarian crisis posed by gully erosion to enable reclamation and beautification work to commence after setting aside of the place as one of the major tourism sites on the capital.

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