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Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises to 20 Amid Protest As Sanwo-Olu Suspends GM

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No fewer than 20 people have been confirmed dead in the 21-storey building that collapsed on Monday on Gerrard Road, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.

The building crumbled around 2pm when workers were on the site.

PUNCH Metro had reported that 10 people were feared dead when the incident happened, as many others were still trapped in the rubble, including the Managing Director, Fourscore Heights Limited, Mr Femi Osibona, who owned the building.

The South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, on Tuesday, said a total of 20 bodies, including that of Osibona’s personal assistant, had been recovered.

The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, around 8pm on Tuesday, also confirmed that 20 corpses had been recovered.

Nine people were said to have been rescued alive.

Our correspondents learnt that three of the rescued victims had been released to their families, while others were being treated at the Lagos Island General Hospital, Marina.

PUNCH Metro, however, observed as agitated family members of some of the victims protested against what they described as the slow pace of work at the scene.

The aggrieved families and sympathizers urged emergency management workers to allow members of the public to help in the recovery process to increase the chances of saving more lives.

They claimed that they were not allowed to identify the bodies recovered to know if their loved ones had been found or were still trapped in the rubble.

One of our correspondents noted that during the protest, 10 men were selected to enter the premises to assist the responders.

They were later chased out, an action that aggravated the crowd.

PUNCH Metro learnt that a member of the National Youth Service Corps, identified only as Zainab, was among those trapped in the rubble.

Her family members, who refused to speak to journalists, were seen bemoaning their fate.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, ordered the indefinite suspension of the LASBCA GM over the incident.

Sanwo-Olu, in a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said the government had also set up a panel to probe the tragedy.

Meanwhile, the governor said, “The government will surely find out what went wrong and punish those indicted.  The governor, as a first step, has directed that the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mr Gbolahan Oki, an architect, be suspended from work immediately. The suspension is indefinite.”

He said more equipment and personnel had been deployed in the site to save more lives.

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Nnamdi Kanu Still Our Leader, Not Replaced – IPOB

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The Indigenous People of Biafra has said that it has not replaced the currently detained Nnamdi Kanu as its leader.

The Biafra group asked its followers to ignore the reports making the rounds that IPOB has replaced Kanu, describing it as “fabricated media propaganda”.

These were made known in a statement by the group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Tuesday.

According to Powerful, Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of the IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.

The statement read in part, “We, the global movement and family of IPOB under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, condemn the useless and fabricated media propaganda and blackmail from some media houses that IPOB has another or acting leader replacing our indefatigable liberator and prophet Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

“Those peddling this kind of lies are those criminals who zoo gutter media are publishing this to confuse the weak-minded people.

“We want everybody to bear in mind that Mazi Chika Edoziem is the head of IPOB Directorate of State and not IPOB Acting Leader.

“The said statement was the handiwork of mischievous elements bent on causing confusion in IPOB.

“It is unfortunate that some mischievous elements twisted an unambiguous statement by IPOB where we clarified that in the meantime that our Leader is in detention, the Head of DOS, Mazi Edoziem, will be providing direction on the day-to-day activities of IPOB. We never said that Edoziem had become the Acting Leader of IPOB.

“For the avoidance of doubts, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains the leader of IPOB. The entire IPOB family all over the world is loyal to him. IPOB has no Acting Leader. Chika Edoziem is only the Head of DOS of IPOB not the Leader.

“We, therefore, urge our family members, supporters, friends, and members of the public to ignore the misleading and mischievous media report.”

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Terrorists Responsible for Owo Church Massacre in Our Custody – General Irabor

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Eric Elezuo

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the military has arrested the terrorists behind the attack on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.

General Lucky Irabor according to news monitored on SolaceBase, made the revelation on Tuesday, during a parley with media executives at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

Appreciating the collaboration with sister security agencies, which helped in the arrests of the criminals, Irabor recalled that about 40 person’s were brutally murdered when heavily armed men invaded their worship centre on June 5, 2022.

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My Invitation to Rivers to Commission Projects Demonstration of Politics Without Bitterness – Sanwo-Olu

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By Eric Elezuo

The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that his invitation by the Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, to commission a project in Rivers State, is a clear demonstration of politics without bitterness. This is noting that the Lagos State governor is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Wike is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (APC).

On Monday, Sanwo-Olu was a guest of the Rives governor to commission the Orochiri-Worokwu (Waterlines) Flyover delivered by the state government.

In his remarks, Sanwo-Olu commended Governor Wike for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.

“I would like to specially commend my brother, Governor Wike, for his strong commitment to the delivery of physical infrastructure in Rivers State.

“A commitment that has been recognized by all and sundry, and which has earned him the appellation of “Mr. Projects” within and outside Rivers State,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said though himself and governor Wike belong to different political persuasions, the invitation extended to him sends a very strong message that politicians and political leaders, can come together across political and ideological divides, for the good of the people.

“There is also a strong message being made today about expanding our capacity to play politics without bitterness. This symbolic gesture by my friend and brother is one that should become standard practice across Nigeria.

“There is also a lot that we can learn from one another, and experience that we can translate from one part of the country to the other,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

It will recalled that Wike is in the habit of inviting notable politicians across parties as guests of honour during the unveiling of any of his projects. The likes of governor of Ekiti State, who is also an APC member and Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare were once invited to commission projects in the state.

Governor Wike had explained that the invitation of the Lagos State governor was not the first time persons of other political parties were invited to inaugurate projects in Rivers State, pointing to the overall benefits such invitations have on governance because it served as peer review for them.

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