Pandemonium in Ilorin over falling mast rumour


By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson

There was pandemonium at Post Office area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Friday as people scampered to safety over rumour that a NITEL mast was about to collapse.
The telecommunication mast situated within the premises of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) headquarters, National Pilot gathered was installed in the 70s.
For about 15minutes, there was commotion in the area with passers-by including NSCDC female operatives, seen running in different directions.
Roadside traders and shop owners in the area also fled leaving their wares behind during the incident that occurred around 10am on the fateful day.
Some of the panicky people took refuge at the adjoining street; Kabba road while others ran towards the Challenge area for safety.
There was traffic gridlock at Post Office as some motorists abandoned their cars and took to their heels with the Kwara State Road and Transport Management Agency (KWARTMA) official having hectic time controlling vehicle movements.
Speaking to our reporter, a trader, who simply identified herself as Toibat, said a female NSCDC officer raised the alarm that the mast was moving and could collapse.
“We looked and truly it seemed as if the mast was on the verge of collapse and that was why we took to our heels to avoid falling victims,” she explained.
When contacted, the state Public Relations Officer of NSCDC, Mr. Henry Okasanmi confirmed the incident.
The spokesperson explained that the normal earth movement, which made it seem like the mast was moving, triggered the speculation by NY members of the public, who witnessed it.
He said that the men and officers of NSCDC responded swiftly to the situation by allaying fears of the people and ensure that normalcy return to the area.
“The noise actually started from the Challenge/Post Office area before it got to our office. Although some (operatives) were panicky but others were able to calm them down that it is a normal earth movement.
“Normalcy was restored almost immediately. We went out to allay the fears of people explaining to them that it was a natural phenomenon and not that the mast was about to fall, ” he said.

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