Osibona and the 21-storey building: Mourn the dead, fight like hell for the living! ~ by Bayo Oluwasanmi

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Nigerians are no strangers to frequent traumatic losses. Gas explosions. Armoury explosions. Oil tanker explosions. Oil rig explosions. House on fire. Factory/Warehouse on fire. Market on fire. Church on fire. Mosque on fire. Shrine on fire. Forest on fire. Name it.

Like all traumatic tragedies, the collapsed Fourscore 21-storey building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi Lagos, occurred without warning. Traumatic tragedies serve as a reminder and as a warning that the world is not a predictable, fair, and just place.

In the Nigerian context, traumatic losses assume a different dimension. Nigerians are not in control of anything that affects their lives. Nigerians are not generally safe and secure.

Majority of traumatic tragedies in Nigeria are due to meaningless, senseless, and unnecessary tragedies manufactured by greed, corruption, selfishness, and wickedness.

Olufemi Adegoke Osibona, aka Fourscore, owner and developer of the collapsed building had successfully developed 7-storey building at the highbrow Albion Drive, London Fields in East London, six luxury units of houses in South Africa called Fourscore Mansions in Waterkloof, Pretoria. All still standing.

According to reports, the 21-storey building was initially designed and approved for 8 floors. During construction, Osibona added two more floors making 10 floors.

When it was discovered that he had added two more floors, Osibona and his workers were arrested and taken to authorities at Alausa. He was not only released by the governor but the building was approved for 15-storey. The floors were later increased to 21 floors.

Osibona is a cousin to Pastor RUGA Osinbajo the Vice President of Nigeria. Questions that beg for answers:

Why did this happen? Who is to blame? Who approved what? Was Osibona released based on orders from above?

Was the approval for 15 and 21 floors connected with Osibona as Osinbajo’s cousin? What and when did Osinbajo know about the building?

Who’s the owner of the land? Was inferior materials used as claimed by the big man from Alausa?

Did Osibona cut corners in any way, shape or form? Was the quality control/quality assurance compromised by “Nigerian factor”?

These and many questions must be answered by any probe into the disaster.

In dark times like this in Nigeria, while we mourn the dead, let’s fight like hell for the living. The tragedies that haunt Nigerians have become permanent.

No just society is possible without respect for law and basic social order. The bulwark of a democratic, responsible, responsive, and accountable government has broken down and destroyed completely.

Righteous cry for justice has been deformed by the rulers into mayhem and lawless barbarity. The law is on the side of justice. Nigerians should rise up and insist that justice must be on the side of the law.

May the souls of the departed Rest In Peace.

Bayo Oluwasanmi; bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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