The service was solemn and short, but left no one in doubt that the death of Bukky (25) and Toyin (30) is a great loss to their family, especially their 68-year-old mother, Adebisi, who has now been left with no child.
Relations, neighbours, community and church members hung their heads in sorrow as voice of the officiating priest, Mr. Prosper Makafui, fell in cadence on each word of exhortation.
“They have gone. No matter what we do right now, no matter what we say, they will not come back,” he said.
Makafui, a pastor at the Winners’ Chapel, Oke-Afa, Isolo, read from the book of Psalm, urging the people to live in perfect alliance with God’s precepts.
He said, “It is appointed for man to die only once, after that, judgement. Death comes only when one least expects.
“From what I have heard about these sisters we are laying to rest here today, I have no doubt that God will grant them eternal peace. I heard Toyin’s church members were waiting for her that day she died to come and sweep the church as she usually did.”
Then, came the time to lower the sisters into the grave; Toyin’s body went in first and Bukky’s followed, one atop the other in the same grave.
Some sympathisers waved at the grave, wondering how their mother would ever move on.
Standing apart from the others at the graveside and looking devastated was a young man, who later identified himself simply as Dele.
Asked if he knew the deceased, he said Bukky was his friend.
He was the last person Bukky spoke with before she died.
Dele told our correspondent, “I called her briefly about 10 pm that night, but we decided to continue our chat on the BlackBerry messenger.
“We spoke about a lot of things; life, her plan to go for further studies, our future and many other things. But about 10.30 pm, Bukky said she was feeling sleepy and we said our goodbyes.”
Dele said usually, one of them would call the other when they woke up.
But on Wednesday morning (Nov. 21), when he did not receive Bukky’s call, he called her cell-phone.
“Her phone was not available and I kept trying thinking that her phone battery was flat. I was checking something online later when I saw the news,” he said.
At this point, Dele turned and walked away, sobbing.
The sisters’ uncle, Mr. Muyiwa Oluwole, could not contain himself too, when he spoke about her nieces.
“They were like their father. He was a very quiet man. I grew up with their father, who was my cousin. I was present when Bukky and Toyin were born. It is really sad, very sad,” he said.
The sisters died when a wing of their building collapsed at the estate, injuring their mother.
Adebisi is still undergoing treatment at the Lagoon Hospital where the news was broken to her on Tuesday.
Their death is a tragic reminder of the structural defects that make many Lagos houses death traps.