The expectation of most parents is that when they attain certain ages that they can no longer fend for themselves, their children will be there to provide the necessary support.
But for aged siblings- Ibijoke Apena and Janeth Eruwayo- who are living in a dingy one-room apartment, their case is a different kettle of fish. They have been abandoned by their children and relations.
At 8, Amusan Street, Rogo, along Iju-Ishaga Road, Lagos State, where they live, the two sisters have become nuisance to other tenants.
Though they are from Jakpa in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, they have spent more than 60 years outside Delta.
Their condition of living is simply appalling as where they defecate, urinate and do so many things is where they eat and sleep.
The odour oozing out of their room has become a source of concern to co-tenants who now avoid them like plague.
When PUNCH Metro visited them in their apartment, odour from their apartment filled the entire place, causing people around to throw up.
Even when it was obvious that their children had forsaken them, they cocooned themselves in the world of pretence, saying “our children have not abandoned us. Don’t speak ill of our children.”
But one thing nobody can take away from the octogenarians is their intelligence and impeccable English. Eruwayo attended Queen’s College, Lagos.
The more elderly of the two, Apena, said she had five children and was married to the family of Apena in Ebute Meta, Lagos.
The 87-year-old Apena said, “I was married to the family of Apena in Lagos. I have five children but one is dead. My husband died more than 20 years ago.
“My children do visit any time they wish. I worked as Secretary to Arab Brothers Limited in Ebute Meta.”
Her younger sister, Eruwayo, 82, told our correspondent that she had four children.
“By the grace of God, I have four children. Some of my children are pastors while others are well-to-do,” Eruwayo said.
Eruwayo’s situation is more pitiable than her elder sister’s – she is blind and suffering from serious infirmities.
A co-tenant, who did not want his name mentioned, said the octogenarians had “great children” but wondered why they had been left alone.
“I still cannot fathom why they abandoned their mothers. Some of the children I had cause to speak with sometime did not want to hear anything about them. One simply told me: ‘If they die, let us know. We will give them decent burial’.”
Another tenant, who also craved anonymity, said some of their children were in Lagos but they did not want to see them.
She said, “One of the children of Apena in Lagos is a multi-millionaire. He lives in Iju area. Any time you talk about the women, he shuts down.
“He always told us to leave them to their fate. He even told me that he would not visit the place until they die. I find it difficult to figure out what is wrong.
“It was only Eruwayo’s son in Abuja that used to visit them occasionally until he suffered serious financial setback caused by Boko Haram’s bombing of his business interests in the north.”
It was learnt that Apena rented the apartment more than 30 years ago and later Eruwayo joined her.
Findings show that the tenants in the two-storey building have been given quit notice and by December, all the occupants are expected to have vacated.
It was learnt that the quit notice was triggered by the state of the women who had constituted nuisance in the building.
Another resident, who identified himself simply as Eze, said if not for a Catholic Church in Ishaga that had been giving them food, the old women would have died since.
“The welfare section of the church gives a church member a certain amount of money to provide food for the old women. As for the children, they are not forthcoming.
“However, one of their granddaughters was staying with them before but she married and left them. She comes occasionally but she and her husband are not well off to take care of the women.”
Eze, therefore, implored the government and well-meaning people to come to the rescue of Apena and Eruwayo before they died.