*As Lagos govt demolishes illegal structure, sacks occupants
By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Monsur Olowoopejo, Peter Ofili, Amaka Uche & Amarachi Chukwudi
Lagos—TRAGEDY struck in the early hours of yesterday, in Lagos, as an 18 year-old woman who got married two weeks ago in Borno State, Faisa Muritala, was recovered dead, while two others were rescued alive when mudslide occurred at Kuata Area by Amara-Olu Street, Mechanic Village, Agidingbi, Ikeja, during a heavy downpour.
The persistent rainfall, which started late Monday evening, resulted in heavy flooding across the metropolis.
Most of the areas such as; Ikeja, Iyana-Ipaja, Agege, Ikorodu, Mile 2, Ojo, among others experienced heavy flood, resulting in traffic gridlock.
Newly-wed teenager dies
The incident was said to have occurred at about 9:30 am.
According to residents, Faisa and her husband, both Borno State indigenes, had their wedding ceremony 10 days ago.
It was learned that the husband relocated from Gwoza, Borno State to Lagos due to the Boko Haram insurgency that had ravaged their communities.
It was further gathered that the couple were relaxing in their structure when tragedy struck.
While the husband escaped, the wife was trapped under the mud.
One of the residents, Ibrahim Abu, said “all we heard was a loud bang at about 9:30 am and before rescue team arrived, she had died.”
How we escaped
Muhammed Abba, one of the two survivors, narrating how he escaped death said: “Faisa and I were both trapped under the mud, I can remember, she was behind me. Immediately I discovered I was trapped, I started shouting for help. It was my voice the rescue officials heard that made them realize the location where we were trapped.”
Muhammed, a trader, claimed that “We often pay N12, 000 annually as rent to the land-grabbers, popularly called omo-Onile, while we pay other miscellaneous to officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment.”
Muhammed however, could not present any evidence of payment when asked by our correspondent.
Also recounting how he escaped by the whiskers, Mukaila Ahmadu said “I just finished eating a meal from one of the restaurants around the place. And because I was in a hurry to catch up with an appointment in Ikeja, I had to leave despite the heavy rain.
“I was not quite long a distance, I saw the structures crumbling behind me, in fear I ran forward shouting aloud to attract others to the collapsed site for help.”
Why we relocated to Lagos
One of the residents, Hassan Muhammed, lamented that they were forced to relocate to Lagos in 2013 after Boko Haram terrorists stormed their community and killed residents.
Hassan, who relocated from Gwoza to Lagos, said: “I am not happy that I live here, but you need to understand that the incessant Boko Haram attacks forced us to relocate to Lagos. We don’t have the huge income to rent house in Lagos. That was why we decided to settle here.”
Lagos demolishes illegal structures, sacks occupants
Meanwhile, the Lagos State government has demolished all illegal structures in the area to avert further possible loss of lives.
Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, who led other officials on rescue mission to the scene, ordered other squatters living in the shanties around Amara-Olu community to vacate the area immediately, saying “it is not habitable to live here.”
LASEMA confirms death
Confirming the death of the victim in the mudslide, General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Engr. Micheal Akindele, said the remains of the deceased has been deposited at the mortuary in Ikeja General Hospital while survivors are currently receiving medical treatment.
According to Akindele, “The agency received a distress call through the emergency toll free line 112/767 at about 10.54 am today 6th September, 2016 of a report of mud slide at some illegal shanties around Kuata Area by Amara Olu Street Mechanic Village Agidingbi, Ikeja.
“Three persons were discovered trapped under the mud. The Agency’s Emergency Response Team, ERT, were able to rescue some people ( a male and a female), while one adult female lost her life and the dead was recovered by the agency’s ERR.