An 82-year-old woman, Alhaja Mistura Ahmodu, who was rescued from a three-storey building that collapsed on Swamp Street, Lagos Island, on Wednesday, has died at General Hospital, Lagos.
According to The Nation, a family member, who was with her when she breathe her last, said Maami, as she was fondly called, was hale and hearty after she was rescued from the debris of the building.
“Despite the fact she was covered in dust, her voice was still audible. She was very fine and I never thought she was going to die. She still asked if we were able to save some things but I pleaded with her to relax instead of talking. I really can’t remember the last thing she said but it is a painful exit. Even my brother had bought the medicine for her as prescribed by the doctor but she is no more to use any of it. I will miss maami. She was strong till the end,” she said.
Her daughter, Mrs Fatimah Ishola, who walked out of the collapsed building, said she was having her bath when the incident happened.She said
“I live on the first floor with my family and mother. I served my mother breakfast and went to the bathroom when I heard a part of the building cracking. As I stepped out of the bathroom, the building collapsed. Sincerely, I don’t know how I came out. It was God.
“It was after I came out I realised my mother was still trapped inside. I really wished she survived. But, what can I do? I don’t have anything even the money I managed to bring from our house has been stolen from me. The cloth on me is not mine. A friend gave me yesterday after coming out of the building almost naked. I was my mother’s first and last. While I grew up, she was my sister. I was her confidant. It is so unfortunate. The only time she stepped out of the house was Wednesdays when she visits my father in our family house. The only reason I moved into the building five years ago was because they just renovated it,” she said.
Residents are counting their losses in the incident.
Alhaja Nimotallah Garuba, who operates a restaurant on the ground floor, said she was in debt.
She said she had spent N1 million for her daughter’s wedding Aso Ebi coming up next Saturday.
“I went to the market last week for the cloth and told people to come for their attire on Tuesday. I have not given up to five people. How will I repay them? I have been operating my restaurant for over 20 years and I have never witnessed this incident. Myself and 11 of my caterers slept on a pavement. We were like vigilantes throughout the night. I need help. Everything is gone,” Alhaja Garuba cried.
Fatimah Usman, who is squatting in a friend’s place with her family, said it wasn’t going to last for long.
”The last time I squatted with a friend was when I was young. My friend is a married woman. How long will I continue to do that? The government should please help us. My husband also slept with a friend. We don’t have a kobo to get another apartment.”
Another occupant, Habib Kareem, just moved in last Sunday with his wife.Habib said he had paid N350, 000 of the N360,000 rent.
“As I finished praying on Sunday night, Mr Ahmed, who rented the flat to me asked for the N10,000 balance but I ignored him. I have spent N150, 000 on the apartment before I moved in. I thought I was already capable of taking responsibilities now I am back squatting with my brother while my wife went to her mother’s place.”
Mr Bayo Adedoyin spent only two days in the two-bedroom flat he rented. He said his family had gone to church before the incident happened.For Shukurat Ishola, her hope of furthering her education is dim.
“Our house collapsed; my grandmother died. We have nothing. I just gained admission to study Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) and I don’t know if that can be possible now. We don’t have the money to take our grandmother’s body from the mortuary. We are that poor now. We need help. The government should treat our matter with utmost urgency,”she said.