Residents worry, seek govt intervention as cracks appear on converted building
WHEN 22 year-old Samuel Adewale who was on holidays in Lagos learnt that his elder brother was moving into another flat somewhere in Surulere, in the mainland, he was delighted.
At least, his brother, Soji, would now have some peace since his quarrelsome neighbours had made life quite uncomfortable for him , in his former residence.
Gladly, he volunteered to help move furniture and other items of property into the new flat at No. 25 Olamojuba Street.
Narrating what happened to The Guardian last week, Samuel said: “I was climbing the stairs when I heard a loud creaking sound from somewhere above me . I stopped and put the two chairs I was taking upstairs down when the staircase seemed to vibrate and sway.
“I went back outside to where my brother was and told him what I experienced but he told me there was nothing to worry about.
“But as I made to continue my climb upstairs, a section of the wall above fell and the staircase gave way. If I had not jumped clear, the debris would have buried me alive.”
That was the end of Soji’s attempt to move into what is definitely an accident waiting to happen, if comments by residents of the area and what seems to be going on in the building are anything to go by.
According to Soji, “It was after Samuel’s narrow escape that we began to look closely at the building and saw that it appears to be sinking .
“It was gathered that much of that area was swamp and landlords had to do a lot of sand filling before they started to build . It may be that the sand filling for No. 25 Olamojuba Street was not enough.
“I never knew that the building was in bad shape when I paid for the apartment.”
When The Guardian visited the compound, there was enough sign , even to an untrained eye that the building, may indeed be sinking.
Some workmen were busy doing some cement work around the base of the building, but refused to explain when asked.
The men who were not in a friendly mood told The Guardian to mind its business .
“Are you from government ? What is your ” one of them asked .
Enquiries from people in the area revealed that while Soji was moving in, some others who had been living in the building, were packing out for fear of the building collapsing.
One of those still living in the building who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity said “going to bed and waking up is by God’s grace.It is not as if I do not know that this place is dangerous, but what can I do ?
“I would have left the building, since last year but could not because of financial difficulties.
“The economy is bad, I only sell petty things in Alaba after my three shops in Alaba and two in Oshodi where affected during the demolition exercise by the Lagos State Government.
“I am not happy living under a roof that might destroy my family .
There are cracks in virtually all the walls. Sometimes we wake up to see slabs from the ceiling on the floor or in our beds. What would have happened if the bits were bigger or heavier ?”
Another tenant, said “I would have left the building but to where?