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Building Collapse: SERAP tasks Lagos, Oyo governments to compensate victims

DAYS after two buildings collapsed in Lagos and Oyo State respectively, a Non-Governmental Organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has tasked the Lagos and Oyo state governments to ensure proper compensation to the victims of the collapsed buildings.

The Lagos building collapse incident happened at Ita-Faji in Lagos Island and that of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital was at Sogoye, along Bode, Molete area.

While 20 people died in the Lagos incident,  no fatality was recorded in  Oyo, and the victims of the Oyo building collapse also got free treatment as directed by the state government.

SEARP, in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, advised the state governments to take decisive actions in order to avoid any re-occurrence of the accident.

It reads in part: “We condemn the collapse of a three-storey building in Ita Faji area of Lagos Island with over 20 people including school children reportedly dead and 45 injured, and the collapse of a two-storey building in Ibadan, Oyo state, with some people reportedly injured.

“We stand in solidarity with those affected and ready to help by providing free legal advice, assistance, and support in order to ensure that justice is not only done but also seen to be done in these cases.

“Schools should be a sanctuary – a place where children can learn, develop and play with their classmates, and prepare for their future lives in society”.

The statement notes that, “The collapse of the school building is due to weak enforcement of regulations or corruption which is an implicit attack on the right of Nigerian children to education, life, and human dignity. Such a situation creates an environment of fear and severely diminishes the quality of children’s education.

“The tragedies demand accountability and both Lagos and Oyo states should accept responsibility for these incidents; promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigate exactly how they happened, and publicly apologise to the victims, their families and Nigerians.

“Building developers and contractors can only be properly held to account if the two states do the right thing for the harm they have caused,” he stated.

SERAP further advised the federal government and the states to ensure regulatory laws and standards are well complied with.

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