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Outrage trails Lagos mosque collapse

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There has been outrage over the collapse of Mutmoyinat Central Mosque, located at Ososo Street in the Mushin area of Lagos, Daily Trust Saturday reports.

Three persons died and seven others were injured when the mosque collapsed on Sunday. 

According to an eyewitness, the mosque collapsed when Muslim worshippers were observing asr prayer.

Men of the Nigeria Police Force, Fire and Rescue Service and the Lagos Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) were on ground to rescue the victims.   

The LASEMA said five people were rescued and only one died, but residents and eyewitness accounts disputed the figure, saying no fewer than seven people died while over 10 were injured.

Report by Daily Trust quoted a statement by Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, the permanent secretary of the LASEMA as stating that the excavator recklessly hit the mosque, a storey building, while clearing the road that trapped lives, inflicting injuries on many and few died.

Our correspondent who visited the place saw scavengers searching for irons on the building, which has become rubble. It was found out that the gutter at the front of the mosque was marked for expansion in the ongoing construction of road and installation of solar-powered streetlights by Bridgevine Resources Limited on Yusuf Street.

In an interview with the chief imam of the mosque, Lukman Qasim Olokuta, he narrated that their ordeal began when the excavator dug below the foundation level of the mosque, exposing the building to risk.

“Two weeks ago, those who wanted to dig this gutter came and we told them that many people worshipped here. They promised us that it won’t affect the building. It was marked, but on the day they came (Sunday), the excavator was bigger than the size of the gutter, so it was dug below the foundation of the mosque,” he said.

‘Our mosque did not collapse on its own’

He also faulted the narrative that the mosque collapsed, blaming the incident on the negligence of the contractor.

“Our mosque did not collapse on its own; it was excavators that dug below the foundation level,” he said.

He disclosed that the state government promised to foot the bill of some victims who were rushed to the hospital.

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“Some people are in the hospital and the state government promised to pay the bills,” he said.

He pleaded with the state government to allow the construction of makeshift buildings for people to continue their daily prayers.

“We have been praying outside in a small place near the mosque but we are not sure where we will pray on Friday during Jumat. We plead with the government to take away the rubble and allow us to put canopy to continue with our daily prayers for the meantime,” he said.

Expressing sadness and disappointment over the incident, Sheikh Abdulahakkem Goriola said some of the children who were trapped inside the building were preparing for Islamic education graduation. 

“As at yesterday (Sunday), we lost one of our members, a 10 year-old Anifa. A son of the imam who was leading the prayer before the incident happened is in the hospital,” he added.

At the private hospital where the imam’s son, Tunde Kazeem and few others who sustained injuries were receiving treatment, Kazeem, who was grateful to God for sparing his life, said he led congregational prayer before the incident.

He added that he hurriedly finished the prayer when he noticed the crack on the wall, stressing that those who were upstairs were mostly affected.

“At the last portion of the prayer, I saw something black, so I told everybody to rush out, but the pillar fell on my head,” he said.

Missing body

Gambo Mohammed expressed concern over the missing body of his friend, Usman Ibrahim, saying, “My friend came to pray and kept the product he sold outside, then the incident happened. Now, he is dead but we are yet to find his body. I am in pain. I have informed our people in the village about the incident,” he added.

Take responsibility, MURIC charges Lagos govt

The Lagos State chapter of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condoled with the Muslim Community of Papa Ajao in the Mushin area of Lagos State over the collapse of the mosque.

In a condolence message, the chairman of MURIC in Lagos State, 

Dr Busari Jamiu Muhammad, sympathised with the bereaved families and the injured faithful.The statement reads: “It was with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we received the news of the collapsed mosque and the resultant death of three Muslims in Papa Ajao. We sincerely condole with the families of the victims and the Lagos Muslim Community.

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“We call on the Lagos State Government to investigate the incident. The lives of citizens are paramount. Government must always put in place necessary protection for the populace whenever construction work is embarked upon, especially in a crowded area. 

“There must be a careful assessment of the road to be constructed and the likely risk faced by buildings domiciled in the area for decades. Life is sacred and it has no duplicate, therefore, adequate study prior to the construction work is inevitable.

“Should the report above be true and the road expansion is found to have been ordered by the Lagos State Government, we demand adequate compensation for families left behind by the breadwinners killed in the accident. The Lagos State Government must also pay the hospital bills of the injured, as well as burial expenses of those who died.

“The MURIC is in possession of a video clip that has gone viral, showing the excavator at the scene of the accident, minutes after it occurred. We charge the Lagos State Government to take responsibility without much fuss. In addition, government has a moral and legal duty to reconstruct the mosque within a reasonable period.  

“Lastly, we pray for the repose of the souls of our brethren who lost their lives to this ugly incident. They are Allah’s visitors and Muslim heroes who dedicated their lives to worshipping their creator. May Allah be pleased with them all. We pray that Allah would accept them as faithful servants and admit them into blissful paradise as martyrs.

“We equally pray for the injured; may the Almighty Allah grant them quick recovery.”

 





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