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We didn’t know it was a journey of no return when our husbands left home to work at Ikoyi building –Victims’ wives



Some families whose loved ones died in the 21-storey building shared their pain – reports

Wailing enveloped the ambience housing the residence of the Yusufs 11 days after 17-year-old  Toheeb Yusuf left home for work at the 21-storey building on Gerrard road, Ikoyi, Lagos State and didn’t return. The building collapsed on November 1, injuring some people and killing others including the owner, Mr Femi Osibona.

Yusuf was said to have been reluctant that day to go out. His mum, Rashidat, who was still in denial kept asking intermittently in a shaky voice ridden with anguish, “Have you heard anything about him? Do you know his whereabouts?”

Some neighbours said that Yusuf was reluctant to go to work that day but his mother pleaded with him to go, so he could get some money for the family’s upkeep. Rashidat stated that she prayed for him when he was leaving home on the day of the tragedy.

She said, “I prayed for him that day as he prepared to leave. In the afternoon, I called him and his mobile was unreachable, I initially thought it was the network but soon I felt uneasy. It was on Tuesday morning that I heard about a building collapse. I still dialled his number, perhaps for him to pick and tell me he stepped out before the incident occurred.”


Yusuf’s mum said she had lost sleep and was unable to concentrate on anything else since the building collapsed.

“I haven’t been able to sleep. How can I sleep with all that is happening? I don’t know where my son is. What kind of mother would sleep in this kind of situation?,” she asked rhetorically as she broke into tears.

The heartbroken woman resided in an uncompleted building with about by about eight other women who had come to sympathise with her, obviously gripped by the intensity of Rashidat’s loss. A family member who spoke to our correspondents on condition of anonymity said that they had searched hospitals where survivors were rushed to but didn’t see him among them. The family has yet to have access to the morgue where the corpses were.

Kafayat Ajayi, wife of Temitayo Ajayi, popularly known as T-money, a bricklayer at the crash site, sat among elderly women, looking distressed as she stared at nothing yet looking at everything.  She held a Bible close to her chest, praying for comfort.

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