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Four-year-old twin dies in another collapsed building in Lagos Island

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Three-storey building collapsed at Oju-Ina area of Agarawu in Lagos Island

A twin boy, Kehinde Okedairo, aged three died on Monday night when another marked distressed three-storey building collapsed at the popular Oju-Ina area of Agarawu in Lagos Island.

The boy, who was sleeping with his mother in their room at No 4, Hassani Lane, Agarawu, died when the building at the back, marked for demolition by the state government, situated at No. 54, Palm Church Street, Agarawu, caved in and fell on the deceased’s bungalow building.

It was gathered that when the building on Palm Church Street fell at about 10:40p.m. the boy’s mother was able to escape while Kehinde was trapped under the rubbles.

Eyewitnesses said youths from the community rushed to the scene to rescue the boy but to no avail, until about 12:50a.m. when his body was brought out. It was gathered that he died as a result of too much heat under the rubbles.

The Guardian learnt that the late Kehinde’s twin brother died about three years ago. Mother of the late Kehinde, Iyabo Adeosun, said though they have been instructed to leave the house, they could not because they did not have money to get another accommodation. “I am always scared of that house that collapsed and we (tenants) have struggled with the house owners but they will always renovate it rather than get the house demolished.”

Speaking with newsmen, the chairman of CDA in the area, Mr. Fatai Oriade, lamented that the distressed house had been marked for demolition a long time ago by the state government agency on building control, but failed to carry out the exercise until it caused havoc.

He said: “When we noticed that the building had been marked for demolition, we ordered every occupants of the house to move out, because we don’t want to witness another calamity and after they had gone we padlocked the house and prevented people from sleeping there. When we saw the Lagos State building control officials, we alerted them about the building, but unfortunately one of them told us it was not yet time for them to demolish the house. If they had acted on our plea, probably the little boy wouldn’t have died. We have lost a promising boy.”

Another resident of the area, Taofiki Abimbola, claimed that there are lots of marked building that needed to be demolished but are yet to be touched by the building agency. He said: “As I speak with you now, there is a building marked for demolition at number No. 28, Agarawu Street, which is three storey building posing danger to residents.

“We are dying like chicken on the Island as a result of collapsed buildings; government should not relent in the demolition they embarked on. The mother of the little boy has been taken to her sister’s house because of people coming to console her. The incoming governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should take the issue of collapse building on the island seriously. Many people have lost their lives through the houses built by these developers, government should arrest and prosecute any developer whose building collapse and use them as a deterrent to others,” he said.

When newsmen visited the scene of the incident, officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Lagos State Ambulance Emergency Service (LASAMBUS) and policemen from Adeniji Adele division were clearing debris at the scene.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government is closing the resettlement camp and relief centre situated in Igando, Alimosho Local Government Area of the state, which was opened two months ago to accommodate the Ita-Faaji survivors and residents whose distressed buildings were pulled down in Lagos Island.
  
To support the affected families, the state government provided financial assistance to all the victims as a way of mitigating the effects of the displacement.

Cash relief ranging from N100,000 to N700,000 was disbursed to the victims at the camp yesterday based on the degree of losses suffered, by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Jimoh Yusuf and General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Tiamiyu Adesina.

   
While addressing beneficiaries of the grant, Adesina explained that the decision to close the camp was based on the need to re-integrate the victims who are already desirous of continuing their normal lives, back into the society and also reunite them with their loved ones.

He added that the initial agreement was for the camp to be opened for three months “but after recent review and assessment, there was a need to immediately reintegrate the victims back to their daily lives so as to completely take away the memories of the sad event and resume their normal socio-economic lives, especially the children, whose academic activities have been disrupted.”
   
He recalled different interventions by the state government in favour of the survivors of the incident, saying that government provided three buses that conveyed school children camped at the centre to and from their schools while their parents were equally ferried daily to their respective work places all in a bid to help them reduce the emotional and physical pains caused by the incident.

He thanked the beneficiaries for their good conduct, urging them to put the financial package to judicious use. Tiamiyu also disclosed that the victims have up to one week from yesterday to organise themselves and move out after which the camp will be permanently closed.

The victims were requested to go away with all the camping materials bought for them by the state, including items like pillows, mattresses, blankets among others.
   
The victims turned beneficiaries could not hold back tears of joy as they thanked the state government for not abandoning them in their hour of need and promised to use the monies given to them to start afresh.


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