One of the survivors of the Lagos building collapse, Mr. Moruf Abdulhakeem, a Primary 5 and 6 teacher in the affected school, Ohen Nursery and Primary School, said he went out to buy food and on his way back to classroom at about 10 am, the incident occurred.
According to him, he noticed that the wall was vibrating when he was at the second floor of the building but before he could take another step, the entire structure came crashing down in debris and dust, with a deafening noise.
“As I was climbing up, I noticed there was vibration and shortly, the building collapsed.While I was trapped struggling to get help, I could hear voices of other people crying for help.Many were praying and shouting Jesus! Jesus! Jesus save us.When I could no longer hear voices after some time, I, thought, they have been rescued, not knowing that many of them died in the process.”
He explained that when the whole incident was going on, neigbours gathered and rescued him and others that were trapped.
“I was buried under the rubbles from 10am to 3pm (7 hours) until help came my way through the neighbors, area boys and other sympathizers.I guessed that I stayed alive because of the water that they were pouring into the collapsed building.I was busy praying and begging God not to allow me to die in the process.”
According to him, there was no sign that the building would collapse, although it had been marked for demolition about 10 years ago.
“When the building was marked 10 years ago and nothing was done to save the situation by the landlord, the proprietress of the school made efforts and renovated it. Since that time, we have been managing it, until it suddenly collapsed.”
Moruf, a part-time student of Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, sustained injuries on his left arm and other parts of his body, and is now lying helpless at home.
“As I am speaking, I am still in shock and afraid of what happened. I heard that the proprietress of my school and many pupils lost their lives.”
Another survivor, Miss Ibidun Ayeni whose mother, Mrs Amudat Ibidun died in the process, described the incident as an unforgettable one.
She explained that the house had been in a state of serious dilapidation and that the landlord could not attend to it, even when the tenants are paying their rents regularly.
“We occupied a room apartment and paid the sum of N70, 000 yearly. Though we know the building was not strong enough, but did not envisage that it will collapse so sudden.”
Ibidun who could not speak much due to shock stated that she noticed vibration in the building and before, people could make move, it was already down.
“I was not at the same spot with my mother when the incident occurred.It was when I was rescued that I found out that my mother did not survive.I am in serious pains due to the injuries I sustained all over my body.”
The woman who saw the collapse coming
According to one 65-years-old woman, Alhaja Olorunoshebi, who claimed to have survived the building collapse by a whisker, things got to a head when she was tagged a pest by the landlord over what he saw as her constant complaint over the condition of the house.
“My marriage to an Ijebu man brought me here,” she said in Yoruba. “And since then, I have not seen people who are lackadaisical like these people.It was when we moved in to this vicinity that the collapsed building was renovated.I have always stood against it. I told them that they could not build their toilet on the compound drainage because it would be too risky, and it would still be our duty to clean the drainage.Their drainage was close to our drainage, but their toilet end was on some part of our drainage.They begged us and begged my neighbours’ mother, and even went ahead to beg the community head, Faji.In the long run, we agreed and they built it. Like I feared, their dirt are being pushed towards our end.”
Source: Sunday Sun