Nigeria News

ANALYSIS: Under The Debris of Collapsed School In Lagos

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Nigeria News takes a look at the collapsed building in Lagos.

Massey Street, Itafaji, Lagos Island was thrown into a dirge. Wednesday was a day of horror in Lagos. The day a birthday boy was brought out dead from the debris of a collapsed school building.

The terrible day when a pregnant woman and her little child died in the collapsed structure. It was also a day a man wanted to commit suicide because he lost his three children to the fallen structure.

The crowd wailed, sympathisers put their hands on their heads as tears rolled down the cheeks of the bereaved who had lost their loved ones to the avoidable accident.

Ours was not about Tsunami or earthquakes. It was not flood or earth tremor but a manmade disaster that claimed about 18 pupils who innocently went to school on Wednesday morning.

The father of the children was held down by his relatives. It was gathered that the children could not go to school last week because the parents could not pay their fees.

However, the father was able to raise the funds on Wednesday. He paid to the school proprietor and left. He came back to the school but met the rubble with his children brought out dead by the rescue team of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency.

There are hundreds of defective structures marked by the state government on the Island for demolition but the authority has failed to carry out the exercise over the years.

Bungalows that were built with bricks over the years are being converted to storey buildings. Residential buildings are turned to commercial space. Government officials that are supposed to carry out the demolition exercise have turned the owners to a source of illegal income.

The Lagos officials take a bribe and allow illegal structures to stay. Hardly there is a year without a record of collapsed building in Lagos and this happens more during the rainy season.

The three-storey building on No.63 Massey Street is one of the defective structures. The last floor was being used as one of the substandard (Mushroom) schools on the Island.

This is common in Lagos, poor education for poor pupils. The lives of the innocent children were cut shut under this illegal structure. They perished under the debris.

As usual, the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who had failed like his predecessors came to the scene to act the old script, “We are going to carry out integrity test on every house on Lagos Island”.

Such a statement is expected but after Wednesday, activities will continue inside the other marked structures. Government lacks the political will to enforce many of his environmental laws. It is quite unfortunate that it is the children, mothers and low-income earners that suffer more of the ineptitude of successive governments.

This came at a time the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is celebrating its victory in the governorship election in the state. It also the period that the outgoing governor has suspended most of the government projects. We lost the children, may their soul rest in peace.

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