September 12, 2022

We just renewed rent, have no place to go — Survivors of Lagos sinking building cry

We just renewed rent, have no place to go — Survivors of Lagos sinking building cry

By Bose Adelaja, Lagos

Survivors of the building that sank in Maryland, Lagos State, have said they do not have anywhere else to go, as they had just renewed their rent.

Recall that emergency workers rescued nine female occupants of a sinking storey building in Maryland, on Monday morning.

However, two of the victims, Tosin Ademuyiwa and Blessing Uzokah, told Vanguard that they have no place to go as they have spent all their income to renew their annual rent of N300,000.

Read Also: Many rescued as Lagos building sinks (Photos)

The storey building is located at 47 Akinwunmi Street, Akinwunmi North Estate, Mende, Maryland, Ikeja.

It was learned that the building started sinking on Monday morning, after it was submerged due to four hours of torrential rainfall.

Vanguard gathered that on noticing the situation, the owner of the building found a way of escape, without informing his tenants.

But one of the victims noticed and was said to have alerted her place of work, which in turn put a call to National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.

Video and pictures from the scene revealed how one of the female victims descended a ladder with some of her belongings, but was unable to cross the flood until the arrival of emergency agencies.

Another video revealed how the victims were carefully rescued by emergency responders, as the water level was very high.

Landlord arrested

The landlord was said to have returned to the scene hours after the arrival of emergency agencies, but was handed over to law enforcement operatives for questioning.

Confirming the incident, Lagos Territorial Coordinator of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, said agencies on ground are Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, NEMA, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, the Police and sister-agencies.

“Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said search and rescue operations was concluded at about 11.56a.m.

“The building has been cordoned off and LABSCA officials have been contacted for integrity testing,” he said.

Victims lament

In a chat with Vanguard, two of the victims, Tosin Ademuyiwa and Blessing Uzokah, said they were not financially buoyant enough to rent another accommodation.

Both victims said they rented a room self-contained each, where they paid N300,000 annual rent to their landlord.

Blessing said the rent was renewed in May, while Tosin said she was staying with her elder sister and daughter in the self-contained apartment which they occupied there for two years.

At the time of the interview, Tosin, her elder sister and her daughter were walking to and fro Akinwunmi Street in Maryland, begging people to accommodate them, while Blessing went as far as Anthony doing same.

The victims said they have expended their savings to renew the rent and could not afford a dime to rent another accommodation.

Blessing, who works in Mushin area of Lagos, said she was afraid of losing her job.

“My mind is not settled at all, as I am yet to get a place to lay my head. I may lose my job if there is no accommodation and I don’t want this to happen.

“God please, save my life, my job and give me accommodation. I am hopeless right now,” she sobbed.

As for Tomisin, she said she was tired of the situation: “Our belongings are still in the building as we were advised to vacate it.

“We took three clothes along with us, but where can we lay out head? Nigerians should come to our aid,” she said.