Wednesday, 1st December 2021
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The collapse of Ikoyi high rise building

The collapse of the 21-storey building was a disaster waiting to happen. The surprise would appear to be it occurred sooner than expected.

The collapse of the 21-storey building was a disaster waiting to happen. The surprise would appear to be it occurred sooner than expected.

The governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his characteristic promptness has swung into action. And I believe he will get to the bottom of the whole sordid affair no matter whose ox is gored.

According to the Development Permit issued on 9 April 2019, which covered three-building, the developer, was to erect the properties marked 44B, C, D to 15 floors each. The three were dubbed 360 Degrees Towers. The developer ignored that and proceeded to raise the one that came down to 21. My full comments are reserved for a later day when the investigating panels have been constituted.

In August I wrote in this column what was captioned ‘Ikoyi of Tomorrow’ drawing attention to the distortion of the original design of Ikoyi with towers lining the horizon. Ikoyi was planned to be a residential model estate with buildings no higher than one storey buried in plants and flowers. The typical commercial instincts of Nigerians would take no such luxury any longer. The flora, the plants must be replaced by a jungle of concrete.

This collapse of the 21-storey building has occurred at the time world leaders are gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, racking their brains, working on a resolution to bring down global warming to 1.5c. The world biggest banks are to play a role in halting greenhouse emissions, and there is a commitment in pledges by financial firms to raise $130tr (US Dollars).

Feeling so light about the development, Rishi Sunak, British Chancellor of Exchequer said: “I am proud that under the UK’s leadership, the number of financial firms committed to net-zero plans has tripled with assets now covered totalling $130 trillion (US Dollars)… Together we can provide the cash the world needs to stop catastrophic climate change.”

The tallest building in Africa is at Ikoyi, flaunting 43 floors. I can’t but wonder how children can be raised in a Tower of such a height. It is a building child cannot run after reptiles, after lizards and chicken, play with sand and throw themselves into the bush, playing hide and seek. Those things that make children! All they can play with are toy guns, cars to drive in the living rooms; they will learn how to shoot. They will watch television, of course fidgeting with computers from morning till night. What other side of life will they know and long for in their youths? We are part of nature. Our bodies were built with materials derived from plants and soil, and they are to be nourished with radiations from the plants and soil, water and air for radiant health. The closer to the ground the better, which must have been the recognition and reason behind the original design of Ikoyi.

The leaders meeting in Glasgow will issue their communiqué at the weekend. It is after it I will revisit the issue of climate change.