This an open letter to the Lagos State Government with regards to the ill fated event of Wednesday, March 13th, in Lagos Island, Ita-Faaji, as a three-storey building collapsed. Market men and women, the area boys, law enforcement agencies, rescue agencies/groups and community persons have been all over the sordid scene of the collapsed building housing; Ohen Private Nursery and Primary School on its third floor which caved in at about 10:20am, trapping scores of pupils. So far; it is on record that no fewer than 18 persons died yesterday, forty-one others were injured and at least over 100 are still trapped inside. One of the Teachers had called to say that she was trapped on the ground floor with 20 of her pupils. A mother had lost five of her children to the collapse.
Indeed, it’s been another tear filled week in Lagos Island and the cruel reality is; most of the families affected won’t recover from this loss. The pupils affected will forever be mentally scarred of this day. Those who survive will forever remember the day death stared them in the face; they will forever remember the day their friends, playmates, teachers, in fact people whom they’ve grown fond of seeing outside their homes, were trapped under the rubbles of the structure which held their innocence. They will forever remember the day they inhaled the dust of concrete, stones, bricks and sands of the structure which gave them knowledge. They will forever remember the day their young spirits fought so hard to survive. We will all get past this but they will not. They will always be reminded.
Dear Lagos State Government, I know you are fully aware of this situation and this definitely isn’t the first time we’re having such an incident occur in Lagos. Kindly take out time to go around your state and see for yourself most of the buildings around Lagos. Most of these buildings, especially on the Mainland are old. Yes, I know that people keep repainting and renovating but the reality is, if the foundation is faulty, no matter what beautification is done on the surface, what will crumble will crumble.
Eye witnesses have accounted that, that same building had been marked for demolition for a while now but the Landlord’s child that’s one of the tenants had refused to evacuate the premises. They’ve further revealed that a lot of houses in the vicinity marked for demolition are being renovated after money has been paid to government officials who no longer demolish the buildings.
Dear Lagos State Government, if these allegations are facts, you need to re-evaluate your disposition towards leadership. You are not doing anyone a favor by allowing them continue living in a dilapidated building. You are not being kind by allowing people maintain residence in cracked buildings. If you want to be more humane, pay them off or settle them adequately as should be, then demolish and rebuild with quality materials of course.
I shop mostly at Lagos Island and each time I’m there, I panic when I look at the archaic buildings standing or slouching tiredly amidst the business of the area. The houses which house over 50 tenants most of the time are a sorry sight to behold and talk about ventilation, I wonder how they survive.
I believe that despite being categorized as the “Mainland” part of Lagos, sturdy structures and foundations should also be laid not only on the “Island” area of Lagos. This collapse is a great loss to not just the families of the trapped/lost souls but it is also a great loss to Humanity.
The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Adeshina Tiamyu has reported today that there is no casualty left under the debris of the collapsed building. The question now is; is this a fact or is this just speculation to calm the nerves of Lagosians?
Dear Lagos State Government, ACT NOW. The elections are over now and you need to re focus your attention to the welfare of Lagos State in general. For those who have been rescued, they should be adequately catered to and provided for. I believe the Government is capable so let’s get to it ASAP. God help us all.
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