At least 6,500 residents of Ijora Badia, who have been rendered homeless, following last Monday inferno, have sent a Save Our Soul, SOS, plea to the Lagos State government, led by Governor Babatunde Fashola, to assist them by providing some relief materials.
The residents, who lamented that they lost all their lives’ savings in the fire disaster, blamed the cause of the fire on electric power surge, as a result of high voltage power supplied by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, which sparked off and burnt the entire community.
When Saturday Vanguard got to the scene of the incident, the entire area had been reduced to ashes, while residents were seen in mournful mood counting their loses as all their properties perished in the inferno.
Chairman, Community Development Association, Mr. SakaYusuf, explained that the fire started around 2pm on Monday when most of the residents had gone to work.
Adding that the situation was worsened as the Lagos State fire service who raced down to the scene could not gain access to the community, hence, no property could be salvaged.
However, the General Manager, Lagos state Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who led the team of the state emergency management officials to the scene to assess the extent of the damage and numerate the affected victims, said the state government would do its best to cushion the impact of the victims.
Osayintolu who described the incident as pathetic, said that over 250 families were affected and rendered homeless by the disaster, saying that the greatest challenges confronting his agency in the management of the scene was poor accessible road networks.
He said: “It is pathetic that the damage have been done already and in one way or the other the state would look for ways to alleviate the pains of the women and the children who have been rendered homeless by the inferno.
From the enumeration of the local government, they are about 6,500 people consisting of 250 families. However LASEMA enumeration is still ongoing to crosscheck the figure given to us.”
“We are going to clear this place and fumigate it to make safe for the people after which the stakeholders meeting will be held with the victims. The properties lost in the inferno cannot be estimated for now is just too much. We are talking about 6,500 people.”
Osayintolu however said that the residents are illegal occupant s of the place, adding that the state government had since marked the place for demolition since.