BY EBUN SESSOU & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
Scores of relatives of the victims of the January 27, 2002 Ikeja Bomb blast in Lagos, yesterday stormed the office of the Governor Babatunde Fashola, to protest unpaid compensation to the remaining 84 victims’ families.
This came two years after the state government at the ten years memorial event, in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA, gave out cheques worth N17.5 million to 70 families of victims.
The protesters who were all dressed in black attire, to express their grievances, stormed the seat of power, Alausa secretariat, and demanded payment of their compensation.
The protesters who were armed with a large banner and placards, which reads: “please save our soul, 84 victims family have been neglected, Ikeja Bomb blast; victims forgotten, the victims widows are dying, 84 victims family neglected by Lagos State and Mr. Governor, please fulfill your promise.”
They lamented that 12 years after the ugly incident, issues concerning the blast, which was described as ‘Black Sunday’, was yet to be solved.
The leader of the protesters, Mr. Nurudeen Oyegbemi said “We came out because since the blast in 2002, we have been waiting for the government to pay compensation to the relatives of the victims.
In 2012, at the ten years anniversary, the state governor paid N250, 000 to 70 of the 154 relatives. 84 people were yet to be paid.
“Since then, we have visited the office of the governor and lawmakers; with the list of the 84 victims and letters to remind them of their promises. When the governor came to Ejigbo to commission the 2.1 kilometer January 27th link-bridge, he assured us that the 84 remaining victims would also be paid. Since then, we are yet to receive any letter from the Governor. Also, we have visited his office four times and we weren’t allowed to see him.”
According to him, “On June 27th, 2013, the lawmakers invited us to a meeting. After the meeting, we are yet to receive any reply from them. We don’t know what to do. This was the reason why we have come out to protest the unpaid compensation. We all suffered the same fate that was why we feel cheated and neglected by the government.”
Addressing the protesters, an unidentified official of the state government, said the state governor was not in office, saying “Drop your letter, when the governor comes he will attend to your issue.”