Nigeria Besieged By Tragic Happenings, Loss of Lives in the Past Week

Daniel Whyte
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In the just concluded week, among other tragic happenings in the world, Nigerians witnessed different tragic happenings which culminated into the loss of lives of several Nigerians and the injuries of many others. 

These have plunged several people into deep pains, agonies, ululations, grieves and loss over relatives, friends and loved ones that may last a lifetime.

First among the line of tragedies that struck Nigerians last week was the Ethiopian airline crash that happened on Sunday 10th March, 2019 which saw the death of two Nigerians: ex- Ambassador Oluremi Bashua and Nigerian-born Canadian Professor, Pius Adesanmi, among the 157 that died during the mishap.

The aircraft, Boeing 737 MAX 8, was reported to have dived into a field minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, killing all 157 people aboard including 149 passengers and 8 crew members.

Abiodun Bashua was a retired Ambassador and on contract with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). He was also the All Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan. While Prof. Pius Adesanmi until his death was a distinguished lecturer at the Carleton University, Canada.

Most felt, however, is the death of Pius Adesanmi who was a popular social commentator and critic who dished out satires at various levels in the societies (from inept and proud politicians to erring citizens) through his various columns with many media outfits. Several reactions trailed the news of his death and consequently, candlelight processions were organised in his honour in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan and Ilorin.

While Nigerians still brood over the demise of two illustrious sons and national assets, they were again beset with another tragedy with the collapse of a three storey building in Ita Faji area of Lagos Island.

As culled from a Premium Times’ report a Reuters report on Friday said “20 people were killed and 45 others survived in Wednesday’s building collapse” including school children.

Similarly, According to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), at least 40 pupils, including 10 dead bodies were pulled out of the rubble on Wednesday.

Although the “police, through the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Intelligence Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti, Yetunde Longe, said it has commenced an investigation into the building collapse”, the Premium Times’ reports, it is reported that the particular building had been marked for demolition which was delayed.

As culled from a BBC report, the building had been condemned as unsafe in 2017 and marked for demolition. The residents had therefore protested noting that the tragedy of Wednesday would have been averted if the building had been demolished.

In that vein, “following the directive of the governor, officials of the State Building Control Agency, led by its acting general manager, Omotayo Fakolujo, have begun the demolition of 80 buildings earlier marked for demolition”.

It should be noted that in Nigeria, Abuja and Lagos States record the highest number of building collapses in recent years which led to the death of a number of Nigerians – for instance according to the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, 199 people died in four Nigerian collapsed buildings between 2014 and 2016.

According to a BBC report there were in 2012: 33 building collapses in Lagos and 22 in Abuja, according to housing ministry figures; 2013: 17 building collapses in Lagos and 20 in Abuja; 2014: 13 building collapse in Lagos and two in Abuja; and more than 54 cases of collapsed buildings were recorded in 2017 across Nigeria.

Compounding the agonies from the Ita Faji building collapse on Wednesday, another building collapsed on Friday, 15th March in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state.

The building is reportedly situated after the Molete Bridge along the Molete-Beere Road. According to witness that spoke to Premium Times, about three people who sustained various degrees of injuries were rescued from the building.

Again on Wednesday different tragedies were witnessed in Anambra state, in the eastern part of the nation.

According to a Premium Times’ report, “not less than 20 people were crushed to death by a tanker containing kerosene at Upper Iweka Onitsha, Anambra State, with many reportedly injured”.

“Also, on same day, at Ibughubu Market, Umuchu, in Aguata local government area of the state, six lives were lost to an accident involving a truck loaded with cement and a lorry”.

“The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said that six persons lost their lives while 14 others sustained injuries in a multiple road crash at Upper Iweka Road, along the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Onitsha on Wednesday”, the report reads.

From the report six persons: four males and two females, died instantly while 14 others survived with injuries and were taken to Toronto Hospital and Borromew Hospital, Onitsha.

Still another tragedy was witnessed in the Northern part of the country on Friday, March 15th when a fresh attack in a Kaduna community led to the loss of lives of no fewer than ten persons.

While speaking to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the chairman Sanga Local Government Council, Charles Danladi, said the attack happened in Nandu village in the area. According to him about 11 houses were burnt in the attack.

It should be recalled that Kaduna state has recently suffered bout of repeated attacks in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state in the last two months which saw the death of many civilians as a result of communal violence which is believed to be between the Adara people and their Fulani neighbours.

The recent attack has in fact been linked to growing hostility between the residents and their Fulani neighbours.

As culled from a Premium Times’ report, “a resident of the affected village, who pleaded anonymity told NAN that the attack was suspected to have been launched by Fulani herders in retaliation for an attack on them by locals before the general election”.


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