How school authorities repeatedly ignore signs a building prone to collapse in Abuja

How school authorities repeatedly ignore signs a building prone to collapse in Abuja

By Dupe Oloyede, Abuja 

In a bid to avert a disaster that could claim the lives of hundreds of school students studying at the Government Science Secondary school, Maitama, Abuja, parents have continued to call attention of the school authorities to an uncompleted dining hall in the school which they opined is prone to collapse.

It was reported that the said structure used by the children most times vibrates, thereby making a shaky sound.

The parents further alleged that efforts to call the attention of the school authorities to these observations has continually fell on deaf ears.

Investigations by AljazirahNigeria, revealed that the uncompleted hall, located in the school premises is used as a dining hall while some sections are loaded with abandoned student chairs.

At the entrance of the hall is an inscription “…. Do not sit on the window because there is no burglary protection. Thank you. From Dad and Mum.” This, perhaps was written to discourage pupils from sitting on the window frames.

Although, all the windows totalling 55 were fixed with aluminium frames but left uncompleted without aluminum window slides, while the doors were patched with extra blocks to enable easy fix of the common hostel doors.

 

A parent who pleaded anonymity  affirmed the noise. He told AljazirahNigeria that he had also observed the sound from some months back and had made the complaint but nothing has been done.

He stresses that this is something that should be urgently looked into so as to avoid any uncertainty.

“Though I am not a builder but I noticed that the way the structure makes noise is different from others. Though I am not a builder but I was concerned that let the thing that happened long time ago in Port Harcourt, let it not happen here whereby the school building collapsed and the irons in the pillars pierced the children.

“So, it is purely true. Assuming you were there and was able to enter the hall, you will experience it and you don’t need to ask further questions,” he said.

A parent who is a contractor, name withheld however described the work as good but needed to be completed.

“Maybe the quality of job is not good enough but I believe they have their supervisors. People believe that government construction belongs to nobody even the awardee of the contract and the contractor.

“But in terms of strongest, it is strong. Just that it needs some finishing which include plastering,” he added.

The school’s Vice Principal, who pleaded anonymity failed to react to the complaints. According to him, the school belongs to the FCDA.

His words: “It is normal for parents to express concern but we are answerable to our mother department of science and tech and our department is answerable to the FCDA. So, it is better you visit the FCDA public works or FCT department of science and technology.”

However, when contacted, Director, FCT Agency for Science and Technology, Utako, Abuja Mrs. Rosemary Umana confirmed knowledge of the complaint.

She argued that the said building is an uncompleted structure and as such the complains were baseless.

Her words: “We actually heard the complaints. The contractor will complete the work. The simple thing is that it is an uncompleted work. The FCDA is involved. If the person completes the work and it is shaking, then there will be cause for alarm. All the projects are being completed one after the other because there are other uncompleted buildings there.

“Look, when you are doing a report that should not be your concern when they complain. When the hall is completed and it is shaking then you have a point.

When the reporter disclosed that the parents are not comfortable with the incessant sound from the building, she wondered why they should resort to the media instead of approaching the agency.

“Don’t look for news on the school. Should they have gone to the journalists and complain or they should come to the Director of the agency and say madam, the school is shaking, then we can send experts.

“They said it once, and we went there with experts because I too was as worried as they were when I heard the report that parents were complaining. We all went there including the FCDA. So they said the moment there are certain aspects of the work that has not been completed and so long you have not finished the work, you can have that sound.

“It is a sound; it is not a correct vibration. They said it is a sound. But the time the work is completed such will not happen. I was surprised because there are Engineers among the parents or are you a parent there? She queried.

“Look when you are looking for news those are not the kind of news you should be looking for. Don’t come to me looking for news go and do your work, leave the school alone.”

The spokesperson for the FCT Education Secretariat, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye when contacted said he was ignorant of the issue and cannot react on the phone.

“I have no idea what you are talking about. I cannot react to anything on the phone. Anybody can claim to be a journalist,” he said.

 

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