.. Constitutes fact- finding committee

By Frederick Peters, KADUNA.

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The Nigerian Institute of Architects, Kaduna State Chapter, has commiserated with the state government, Zazzau emirate and the families of victims of the collapsed Zaria Mosque, which left 10 worshippers dead.

The institute while praying for the reposed souls of the deceased also prayed for quick recovery of all those injured and undergoing treatment.

NIA however constituted a fact- finding/forensic committee to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the incident to avert future occurrences, while also canvassing the need for the authorities to conserve historical monuments for future benefits.

Addressing a Press briefing In Kaduna, the Chairman and Secretary of the Nigerian institute of Architects, (NIA), Kaduna state chapter, Arc Samuel Obaje and Arc Binta Danmaliki respectively, further lamented the sad incidence of the collapse of a portion of the Zazzau Emir’s palace Mosque in Zaria which resulted in the death of 10 worshippers with quite a number of individuals still in hospital receiving medical attention.

” Our sincere condolence goes to His Royal Highness, The Emir of Zazzau and his emirate council and to the entire people of the Zazzau emirate over this sad incidence. We equally extend our condolences to the His Excellency, the Governor and people of the Kaduna state over this tragic
incidence.

” May Allah in his infinite Mercy forgive their shortcomings, grant them the highest level of Aljannah and give the families the fortitude to bear the tragic loss. May He also heal the injured and unite them with their families. Amen.”

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” The Nigerian Institute of Architects, Kaduna State Chapter received the news of the tragic incidence with sadness by this development, quickly constituted a
delegation that paid a condolence visit to the Emir of Zazzau and also undertook
preliminary inspection of the Collapsed portion of the Mosque with a view to
identifying the immediate and remote causes of the collapsed portion of the
mosque.

” It is instructive to note that this Mosque is a historical monument that has been in existence for about 200 years having been constructed around 1820 by the
“Babban Gwani” (Chief Builder) during the reign of Emir Jafaru and has
experienced rehabilitation and maintenance at various times including the recent upgrade and expansion of the mosque to accommodate more worshippers.”

According to the Institute, the preliminary inspection carried out by a team of Architects may have revealed what caused the collapse which however needs to be authenticated, ” you will agree with me that these assumptions are however speculative and can only be authenticated by a thorough forensic investigation on the building with a view to ascertaining the actual cause of the collapse of the building.

” The NIA Kaduna State chapter has constituted a committee that comprises of senior members of the institute from Private Practice, academia and government agency to ascertain these facts and come up with a resolution on the way forward with a view to restoring the building to normal use.”

The Institute however recommended for safety purposes that, ” the entire area of the old mosque should be completely sealed off from the public while the New extension can be demarcated and opened for normal worshiping activities.

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” Report of the committee set up by the Nigerian Institute of Architect
should serve as the way forward towards approaching the restoration of
the entire mosque structure for the continuation of normal use.

” Competent firms or individuals in conjunction with the palace builder
(Descendants of BABBAN GWANI) should be consulted to come up with
suggestions of a new design for the affected area and other identified
areas that have shown signs of weakness.

” We also implore Governments to prioritise the conservation of all ancient
monuments through regular inspections and rehabilitations with a view to
making them maintain their allure for the viewing pleasure of the public
and for research purposes.

” Finally,the public should be sensitised on the need to intergrate these
monuments into modern development rather than demolishing them for
new non-lasting buildings in order to bequeath them to future generations.”

The institute further advocated the need to ” cherish conservation of historical monument that depict the historical antecedents of a people as such we place great value and emphasis on building of similar nature in order to bequeath a legacy to future generations on how far our building techniques have evolved and to show the resilience of these buildings through time and which could give an insight on how we should approach our buildings in the future.” NIA added

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