One of the survivors of the Lekki building collapse, Femi Ola, has granted an interview to The Nation. He said: ”I was working as a pay loader before the building collapsed. I always slept in the building with others. When the incident happened, they thought that I was one of the dead victims.
They had even sent message to my family that they saw my remains being taken away in a nylon bag. My mother came in the company of my sister and started crying. A friend invited me to go to another site with him before the incident happened. If not for the friend that took me out to another site, I would really have died.”
Bidemi, an artisan at the site, alleged that the contractors made life unbearable for them by not paying them their wages. He said: “They have been owing us for about a month now. They used to pay us on a weekly basis but for the past 4 weeks, they have not paid us.”
Christine Ahisu, a resident of the area, said: “I witnessed the disaster. The actual number of people who died is more than those being reported. Some of the workers were still staying in the building because the company owed them some money.
The building actually sank, not collapse as was widely reported. That is why some people underground were still making calls for rescue but we are fearing they are now dead, since they have stopped making calls. They were supposed to erect a 3-storey building but the owner added 2.
The land in question was sand-filled 3 months ago and they laid irons on it almost immediately. There is another building adjacent the place where the same Lekki Garden is building, and they recently sand-filled the place too. Why are they sand-filling a riverine area?”
Florence, another aggrieved resident, said: “This is not the first time that a Lekki Graden’s building would collapse. About 2 years ago, one collapsed at Abraham Adesanya Estate. When I saw them refilling the sea shore, I said these people were not equipped for this. They’re very much in a hurry. If you check the ground floor, there are so many cracks. Look at the fence of the building and see what has become of it.”