Suspected acid sabotage at collapsed Amawbia market building
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Suspected acid sabotage at collapsed Amawbia market building

By our correspondent

Investigations into the collapse of a building at Amawbia Eke market on Thursday that left at least two people dead, including a father of four, have revealed allegations of a potential acid attack on the building before it collapsed.

According to an anonymous source, acid was poured on the market building a few days before it collapsed. It was probably an act of sabotage against the contractor’s work.

The alleged motive for the attack is believed to have been jealousy, as the contractor had successfully completed numerous construction contracts in the area.

The source claims the perpetrator is a close friend and associate of the contractor who is driven by jealousy and business rivalry.

“You won’t believe it, the perpetrators of this despicable act are close associates of the contractor. Those who benefited from the contractor’s philanthropy. It’s a vile world. Just out of envy, look what someone did,” the informant lamented.

The President General of the Awka South Markets Amalgamated Traders Union, Comrade Anayo Nweke, had earlier also alleged that sabotage and business rivalry may have contributed to the tragedy.

Nweke, who spoke to journalists after assessing the extent of damage caused by the mayhem, dismissed the claim that the project was for a two-storey building, which was in fact a hanging sanitary building with stairs.

He thanked members of the Nigerian Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Red Cross, businessmen and passers-by for their quick intervention and rescue operation.

According to him, the suspicious collapse, which is a consequence of an endless leadership crisis and unhealthy competition in tenders, will be investigated by a commission of inquiry.

The ASMATU chief said he had appointed a seven-member committee headed by city planner Uba Anetoh to investigate the immediate and remote cause(s) of the building collapse.

According to him, the Panel has one week to conduct an investigation, draw conclusions and present a report.

When contacted, the Financier-Contractor handling the collapsed toilet building, Engr. Arinze Anyadiegwu said he was returning to Awka from Lagos when he received the information, debunking speculations and accusations attributing the collapse to poor engineering work.

Anyadiegwu said, “We have used solid and strong materials and all the rods are of standard quality, including sand and stone. All the rods we have used are 16 mm and are used for erecting multi-storey buildings, regardless of the fact that the roof is also cast.”

Continuing, he said, “I want to make it clear that this is pure sabotage. You won’t believe that we have 28 to 30 solid pillars up to five feet deep from the ground to ensure that the project is well-fortified. I have over 100 other shops in this Amawbia market and none of them have a problem.

“The situation that occurred is not the result of poor management of the structure.”

Anyadiegwu, who revealed that his fierce and unhealthy supporters were involved in the tender, also accused him of foul play and sabotage.

Suspected acid sabotage at collapsed Amawbia market building

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