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My son asked me to pray for him before he left, says father of six-year-old who died in collapsed building

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When Abdulfatah Ayoola laid his hands on and prayed for Fawad, his son, he never knew that would be his last time of doing so. In the six years that the deceased spent on earth, the father prayed for him regularly but hardly had the request come from the boy. 

Fawad got to school, cheered his classmates and settled down for the day’s teaching without knowing it was his last day on earth. By 2pm, his corpse was retrieved from the rubble of the building that collapsed in the Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island.

The three-storey building had a school inside it. When Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor, visited the scene, he said the school operated illegally. Residents also said the collapsed building had been marked for demolition and the occupants given notice to quit.

A school bag in rubble at the scene of collapsed building

But all these mean nothing to the families of Ayoola and all those who lost loved ones in the incident.

“He woke up late for school today. After taking his breakfast, he requested for money but I told him there’s no need for money since he has his lunch with him. Then he said, ‘daddy, pray for me  before I go’, and I did exactly as he requested. He walked to school which is just few metres from the house,” Ayoola said fighting back tears.

Neighbours had assembled in his two-room apartment. As the men in the living room consoled him, the voice of women crying in the inner room echoed into the living room. It was an atmosphere of gloom.

An aged woman rescued by LASEMA officials

“I don’t think I can sleep tonight. My late son and I did almost everything together; we ate together, prayed together, spent time discussing. I was introducing him to life because he was my eldest child,” Ayoola said.

The man of the house broke down in tears, narrating how he contemplated enrolling Fawad in another school but did not go ahead with the plan because his late son was rounding off his primary education.

“I visited Kings’ College not too long and liked the academic atmosphere. and I was assured that an interview date will be communicated to me soon but now I can’t take him there anymore because Fawad is gone.

LASEMA rescue team at the scene

“God gives and take, we cannot question Him. All I need to do now is pray for him, console the mother, I know of a family who lost four of their children in the building, what will be their fate? Praise be to Allah for everything.”

Fawad has been buried at the Ikoyi cemetery in accordance with Islamic rites.

TheCable gathered that the school had over 120 pupils. Of this figure, nine have been confirmed dead, some rescued and taken to the hospital while many are still trapped.

Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and other rescue agency were still at the scene when TheCable left the place at 8pm on Wednesday.

Ambode has promised that a full-scale investigation would be carried out but for now many are counting their losses.

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Lagos Matters

One missing as boat capsize in Lagos

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One person has been declared missing after a speed boat conveying roofing materials capsized at the Ibasa waterfront in Lagos yesterday June 15th.

A statement from the Lagos state police command says at about 12.00noon, a speed Boat with inscription ‘OMOMUMMY MARINE’ mounted with 70HP Yamaha engine, operated by one Muri Jimoh, with two passengers on board, capsized  at Ibasa waterfront due to heavy wave, while conveying roofing materials from Ijegun to Ibasa.

Consequently, the victims overboarded and got drowned.

However, two of the victims were rescued alive by a team of Marine Policemen patrolling the waterways.

One of the victims, a 32-year-old man identified as Rasaki is still missing. Search and rescue operation is still ongoing to rescue him alive. 

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Lagos Matters

Sanwo-Olu did not buy N187m car, aide replies PDP

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The Lagos State Government has denied a claim by the Peoples Democratic Party that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, acquired a N187m official vehicle.

The Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Gboyega Akosile, in a statement, on Sunday, said the vehicle used by Sanwo-Olu, which he said was “certainly not N187m,” was purchased over a year ago.

According to Akosile, the Lagos chapter of the PDP had started exhibiting signs of “long-term depression” by joining the “infamous league of fake news promoters.”

He said, “As a major political party, one will expect the PDP to be more circumspect in its criticism of the state governor, especially along the lines of progress and development for the state and not reducing itself to purveyor of fake news.

“For the avoidance of doubt, His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, did not buy a N187m SUV as his official vehicle. In fact, the governor has not procured any vehicle for official use.

“The vehicle the governor uses, if that’s what the PDP is referring to, was purchased almost a year ago and it certainly is not N187m. The PDP needs to check well before coming out with fallacious claims next time.”

Akosile, speaking on the PDP’s demand for Sanwo-Olu’s assets declaration, said it was clear that the party and its members are delusional.

He said, “While it’s not legally mandatory for Governor Sanwo-Olu to make his assets declaration public, he is certainly not perturbed about the request. The PDP should know by now that it’s a choice.

“However, Governor Sanwo-Olu will not be dragged into matters that have no direct positive impact on the lives of the people of Lagos State.

“Therefore the PDP should keep its unsolicited advice and concentrate on putting its already collapsed house in order if it hopes to be relevant in the political firmament of Lagos State now or in the future.”

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Lagos Matters

Sanwo-Olu swears in six newly-appointed Permanent Secretaries

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sworn in the six newly-appointed Permanent Secretaries just as he announced the redeployment of some serving ones.

A statement by the Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri- Okunola said that the action was to reinvigorate the State’s policy implementation apparatus, adding that the appointment of new Permanent Secretaries took effect from June 1, 2019.  

The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries and their portfolios are: Dr. Ademuyiwa Benjamin Eniayewun, Health Service Commission; Mr. Olumide Olufolami Erinle, Education District IV; Mrs. Okelola Oludara, Education District VI and Mr. Wasiu Adedamola Akewusola, Ministry of Housing.

Others are: Mrs. Yewande Abiodun Falugba – Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Mr. Mustapha Abiodun Osi-Efa, Local Government Establishment and Pensions Office.  

The redeployed serving Permanent Secretaries are Mr. Timothy Olukayode Ogunnubi, Local Government Service Commission; Mrs. Samiat Olatokunboh Adeleye, Ministry of Education; Arc. Foluso Adebayo Dipe, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development; Mrs. Maryrose Omotola Akinsanya, Parastatals Monitoring Office.    

Other redeployed ones are: Mrs. Adebunmi  Elizabeth Adekanye, Ministry of Home Affairs; Mr. Segun Olufemi Adeniji, Ministry of Science and Technology; Mrs. Toyin Idowu Awoseyi, Teaching Service Commission. They also include Mr. Abdul-Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha, Office of Civic Engagement; Mrs. Boladale Aderemi Dapo-Thomas, Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment; Mrs. Omobolanle Modinat Ogunmola, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives; Mrs. Ganiat Raji, Audit Service Commission; Mrs. Adetutu Abiola Liadi, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget; and Mrs. Sinatu Bandele Fadipe to Civil Service Pension Office.  

The Governor tasked the new Permanent Secretaries to discharge their duties diligently and see their appointments as service to humanity.

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