Lagos — Tenants of Nos. 1 and 5 Anikantamo St., off Adeniji Adele Road, Lagos Island, on Thursday appealed to Gov. Babatunde Fashola to assist them access their cordoned off apartments.
The collapsed on Wednesday on No. 3, Anikantamo St. in central Lagos and rendered four families homeless and property worth millions of naira destroyed, is flanked by the two buildings. Mrs Funmi Ogundiran, a resident of No 1 Anikantamo, said that the adjacent buildings were cordoned off along with the collapsed one.
"Since the house fell and policemen were called in, we have not had access to our house which is No 1. Anikantamo.
"My family and I had to go to a relation's house to pass the night. We cannot even get money to buy food to eat. It is as if it was our building that collapsed.
"We did not take anything out; because when they came we were outside the building looking at the wreckage of the collapsed house," she lamented.
Ogundiran urged the government to give the security agencies orders to allow them enter their houses to get some necessities. Another neighbour in No. 5 Anikantamo, who refused to give her name, said that they rushed out of their apartments when they heard the sound of the building coming down.
"As I am here, I came out with nothing; I don't even have pants on. I had just a piece of wrapper tied around my body when I rushed out.
"This cloth I am wearing, someone just sewed it. You can see that it is new," she said.
Mrs Ahdijat Oshodi, whose family resided in the collapsed building, called on the state governor to extend some aid to them.
She said: "We have nothing - money, clothes, shoes - just everything that we have was destroyed in the accident."
One of the victims, Mrs Shade Olowu, appealed to the governor to assist them to recover the two-month rent paid to the developer, one Mr Kilani, alias Baba Luku, barely two hours before the incident.
Olowu said that it was only the mason who was working on the building when it fell that sustained some injury. According to her, Baba Luku had earlier collected from the tenants in the building two years rent in 2011 and promised to reinforce the failing pillars in the building but did not do so.
The tenants alleged that the building had been in a bad shape when it collapsed, adding that it had been under rehabilitation for two years. Effort to get the comments of the developer was futile as several calls to his mobile phone were not answered. Meanwhile, security men at the scene of the incident said that they were given orders not to allow anybody to enter into the adjacent buildings because they (buildings) had been compromised.
They said that until the order was vacated, they could not allow tenants of the adjoining buildings to enter into their apartments.
The Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Physical Planning Development Authority (LSPPDA), Mr Femi Moliki, told NAN that he was not aware of any orders restraining the occupants from entering their apartments.
Moliki, however, said that such orders could be given if the authorities felt that the "health" of the adjoining buildings had been compromised by the collapsed one.