Cries of grief, accusations of blame and wishes for a better Nigeria are always heard when an utterly preventable tragedy occurs in Nigeria. Accountability from the government on the other hand, almost never happens. Nigerians are looking to the government again, following the breaking news of a three-storey building collapse at Freeman Street in Lagos Island.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning, with reports detailing that the total collapse had trapped in occupants who were fast asleep. The neighbours had been the ones to alert emergency respondents, and draw attention to the tragic incident, but all efforts were much too late for the first victim, a male child, who had died upon recovery from the rubble.
Other occupants have been rescued and transferred to treatment facilities; meanwhile, search and rescue operations are still ongoing on the scene. It is unknown the specific amount of people that were present in the building at the time of its collapse and the exact cause of the wreck itself. This is common because of the dire housing situation in Nigeria that forces people to accommodate far more people than the required weight limit for a residential building within their homes.
However, the LASEMA Director-General, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, has tried to reassure Nigerians that “investigations will be conducted to unravel the case”.
Nigerians, impatient for a verdict, are already speculating on what the cause of the collapse could have been. Many are suggesting its the “greed” of developers, who in a bid to cut cost, erect run-down buildings that spell doom for its residents.
All these greedy Lagos Island developers will erect a 4-storey building on a quarter plot, with a bungalow budget. ??♂️
— Alex Oluwatobi (@alexlobaloba) July 11, 2020
The reason houses collapse in Lagos island is GREED
– Land owner’s greed
– Developer’s greed
On a quarter plot, you are building 3 storey building and the pillars and beams will be so thin just because you don’t want them to occupy space yet you want plenty miniflats. Onijekuje
— Lola Okunrin (@lollypeezle) July 11, 2020
One doesn’t need to do much digging to realise occurrences like this happen often in Nigeria yet no one is brought to book. Several citizens voiced their exhaustion with the pattern, pleading once again for the government to look into the situation.
The recurring cycle of Nigerians wailing, and the government expressing shock, yet nothing changes have become entirely exhausting. Hopefully, this incident proves to be different, and those responsible are held accountable.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks