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A’Ibom: Three children cheated death over sliding building

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The landlord, Mr Francis Ikpe and the three surviving children
By Dennis Udoma, Uyo
Three children  narrowly escaped death on Sunday night as a residential building on No. 16 Asutan Street in Uyo metropolis of Akwa Ibom State landslided into a ravine.
The kids are; Yusuf Ibrahim Umaru 6, Aisha Ibrahim Umaru 9 and Fatima Ibrahim Umaru 5 years. The trio  cheated their untimely death less than five minutes to the unfortunate incident as they escaped following a bang before the slide.
Narrating thier experience, one of them told our Correspondent, ” we were cooking evening meal as our mother was praying before a bang sounded. We quickly rushed out for safety only to see part of the house sinking down”.
The remote cause of the incident was attributed to poor road construction and supervision by the contractor, who handled the project execution on behalf of the State Government in 2017.
Conducting newsmen round the area, the landlord of the collaped building, Mr Francis Ikpe said, the incident occurred at about 8:30 pm, when  the three children were preparing meal and heard a sudden sound that forced them to run outside for safety before the kitchen collapsed into the ravin.

Mr Francis Ikpe, while speaking to newsmen while taking them round the building described the landslide as devastating, adding that it was miraculous escape for the children

He said, “it was a devastating experience.Three children were preparing their meals in the kitchen. After they left the kitchen, it was not even up to five minutes, when the kitchen collapsed.The children were eating when suddenly there was a bang and the kitchen and everything inside it buried. They would have been trapped; it was a miracle”.

The landlord said the community had been living with the erosion for the past 30 years, adding that the dimension was not as disastrous was it turned out to be now.

He said the problem become serious when the state government decided to embark on street repairs and construction of drainages,saying water from six adjoining streets had been channeled to the place without a chamber constructed to receive the volume of water

“Iam the landlord of no 16, Asutan street, the compound that is badly threatened by the erosion.We have lived with the erosion for more than 30 years, the dimension was not as disatrous as it is now.

“But when the state government decided to embark on massive streets repairs and drainages, water from the six adjoining streets, including barracks road, have been diverted to the place and no chamber was done to receive the water.

“A lot of damage has been caused to that place. Whenever it rains the volume of water increases and this has been posing threats to lives and properties” he said.

He called on the state government to intervene before the house is completely swallowed by the rampaging slide.

On relocation order by the state government, Ikpe said ” I just heard that a surveyor came here.and address is sometimes ago. He brought a document purported to have been written by the state government in 2011, but no landlord has ever seen that document and there is indication that the landlords acknowledged receipt of the document”the landlord said.

He said if the state government said  they should relocate they have no option if government make provisions for the relocation.

Also, Mohammed Umaru who is a businessman and tenant in the affected compound said, he went out to Okoita in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area on Sunday, when he received a call that his house has been swallowed by a slide.

According to Umaru, ”I traveled to Okoita, where I had a call by my landlord that, the house has collapsed. I rushed back and what I saw was terrible. What we need now is help, let the government do something to assist us. I am helpless”

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