Rescue operations ongoing at the site of the collapsed.
•Lagos rejects military assistance in rescue operation
•As Adeboye condoles victims’ families
By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Bose Adelaja & Olayinka Latona, LAGOS
The death toll rose to 44, last night, as rescue and recovery operations at the scene of the Ikoyi collapsed building reached 99 per cent.
The National Emergency Management Agency, NAMA, disclosed this, yesterday.
On the current casualty figure, a source, who spoke to Vanguard, said the bodies were recovered after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had left the scene, Saturday, with the record of 42 bodies recovered during the search operations.
One of the bodies was recovered at about 10pm, Saturday, while the other was recovered at about midnight, same day.
But the Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, yesterday, said one more body was recovered from the site of the collapsed building.
According to him, the body, which was recovered, Saturday, has brought the number retrieved from the rubble to 43.
At the Infectious Diseases Hospital, IDH, Yaba, the identification of bodies continues.
Sanwo-Olu had disclosed that 42 deaths and 15 survivors had been recorded, so far, on Saturday, when he visited the site in the company of All Progressives Congress, APC, National Leader, Bola Tinubu, and Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, with some state executive members.
Meanwhile, some family members and relatives have continued to keep vigil at the site in the search for their missing loved ones.
Most of the visibly devastated relatives, who declined to make any comments, begged the governor to give them the bodies of their loved ones who they believed must be dead in the rubble.
Lagos rejects military corps assistance
Meanwhile, efforts by the Federal Government to support ongoing recovery efforts was earlier rebuffed by the state government, when the former deployed a team of Nigerian Army engineers to the scene.
The team, it was gathered, was led by Brigadier General Omali who, on arrival, was received by the acting Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in Lagos State, Ibrahim Farinloye.
The team was introduced to Lagos State Commissioners for Special Duties, and Physical Planning and Urban Development, Messrs Bamigbose Martins and Idris Salako, respectively, who were also on ground.
The corps engineer team explained that they received a directive from Abuja to deploy equipment to assist in carting away the rubble.
However, Martins, in response, informed the team that the work was near completion.
It was learned that the team immediately left the scene after the discussion with the commissioners.
Also, more than 19 family members have registered missing loved ones, which were yet to be identified as of press time.
Adeboye condoles with victims’ families
Meanwhile, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye yesterday condoled with the families of the victims involved in the building collapse at Ikoyi, Lagos State.
Praying during the church monthly thanksgiving service at the national headquarters of the church in Ebute-Metta Lagos, Adeboye said: “I know what it means to be in sorrow.
“I had my share this year, so when I hear that someone lost a loved one, I understand what it means.
“We pray that the Lord comfort those who have suffered as a result of lost loved ones at the Ikoyi building.
“Have mercy on us in Nigeria and put an end to sorrow in the lives of everyone.
“God, please comfort all those who are in sorrow at this time.
“Please help our governor, help him and his cabinet to succeed. Almighty God please put an end to every form of tragedy in Nigeria.”
On the 2023 general elections, the cleric said he wondered why politicians are making preparations ahead of 2023 adding that no one is certain about the future.
His words: “This is 2021; some people are already getting ready to kill themselves over 2023. They don’t even know whether there will be a 2023.”
they don’t even know whether they will still be around. There is nobody here who can say for sure that he will still be around by tomorrow. It is God who determines who will still be around by 2023.”
“Someone said to me: ‘Sir, who do you think will be president in 2023?’ I said: the president of where? He said the president of Nigeria
“How are you sure there will be Nigeria in 2023? How are you sure? Can you swear? I pray there will be Nigeria, so you don’t misquote me. But are you sure?”