By Moses Mbaiorga
A one storey building, said to have been the first storey building in Tiv nation, located around St Andrew’s Secondary School, Adikpo-Jato Aka road, has collapsed.
It was said to have been built around 1961-1975 by one of the earliest business moguls in Tiv nation, Mr Gideon Akinde Ayu; an indigene of Kwande Local Government Area, Benue state.
The building reportedly went down on its knees on October 25, 2022. The cause for its fall is still not clear but observers attributed the desaster to structural defect and heavy wind storm.
Eye witness account has it that, no life was lost in the course of the incident as there were no occupants in the said building. However, few properties were destroyed.
Worthy of note, the building arguably top the reasons why Adikpo market where it was located was christened ‘Adikpo London’ and neither cement nor iron was used while putting up the structure, instead, ordinary mud and planks were used. The Voice can report.
Reacting, a historian, who is also one of the locals, Mr Orkuma Adzua Ikyur, who expressed how painful Kwande people felt, described the collapse as a great loss of one of Tiv’s valuable monument. He noted that deliberations with Kwande illustrious sons and daughters are ongoing to replace the collapsed structure for posterity sake.
“As a Historian, we have attached great value in such historical edifices. They are significant to the history of the people.
“Here in Adikpo, the headquarters of Kwande Local Government, the building was a big blessing to us. People come from far and near to have a glimpse of the building, especially with the historical claims that it is the first storey building in Tivland.
“To show how we value it, there has been calls by other Kwande academicians for a reconstruction of the same building in the same place as a symbol to keep it.Though this is yet to gain general acceptance by most people,” he stated.
Efforts to reach out to family members of the late owner of the building proved futile as their contacts were not handy at press time.