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Oke-Afa blast: Relatives, divers lament unfufilled promises

By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo

LAGOS — IN what seemed to be a yearly routine, relatives of the 2002 Oke- Afa, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA, bomb blast victims as well as rescue teams (divers) have continued to lament their plights over the unfufilled promise to compensate them by the federal and state governments, eight years after.

This came just as the Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, at the eight anniversary, held yesterday at the Oke-Afa bomb blast monument site, disclosed plans by his council, under Private Public
Partnership, PPP, to commence construction of one of the road projects promised by the Federal Government, that is, Ajao- Ejigbo link bridge.

Meanwhile, the state government has established institutional and administrative structures to promptly response to distress calls, prevent avoidable and manage unavoidable emergencies/disasters within minutes of their occurrence in the state

Regrets

Speaking with newsmen at the event, leader of relatives of the victims, Mr. Ola Majekodunmi, who lost his two sons, Taiwo and Pelumi, during the blast, accused the government of insensitivity.

“Eight years down the line, government has not shown real concern to the feelings of the families who lost their loved ones in the incident,” he said.

Majekodunmi, who was attending the ceremony for the first time and neither were his sons part of the 1,150 bodies given mass burial at the Oke-Afa site, could not hide his disgust at what the yearly ceremony had become.

Mr. Abayomi Ayelomi, head of the divers, also lamented that eight years after, the promise made by the state government was yet to be fulfilled.
His words: “The dimension of this year’s ceremony is totally different from how it has been in the past but with what the chairman promised and told us that they were going to take care of us, we are yet to see that.”

Structures for emergency mgt

The Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali, who represented Governor Babatunde Fashola, prayed God to grant the families of the victims the fortitude to move on in life.

He said as part of the state government’s efforts in protecting its citizenry, it had established institutional and administrative structures to promptly response to disaster situations.

He added that the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, was established not only to respond to emergencies and disasters within the shortest possible time, but to also reduce the incidence or threat of emergencies to the barest minimum all over the state.

He urged citizens to be more vigilant, alert and careful in analyzing panicky situations and take advantage of the available disaster management facilities properly.


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