South African president, Jacob Zuma announced yesterday that 67 of its citizens died in the Synagogue building collapse that occurred on September 12th. The South Africans were in Nigeria to seek spiritual help and were staying at the guest house before it collapsed. Read the full statement from President Zuma below:
I am greatly saddened to announce that 67 South Africans died and scores of others sustained injuries, after a building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday, 12 September 2014, in Lagos, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This is a particularly difficult time for South Africa. Not in the recent history of our country have we had this large number of our people die in one incident outside the country. Our thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues that have lost their loved ones in this heart-breaking tragedy. The whole nation shares the pain of the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons who have lost their loved ones. We are all in grief. As we mourn this sudden and tragic death of our fellow compatriots, I have directed the relevant Government departments and entities to act with the utmost urgency to ensure that we facilitate the movement of relevant family members to Nigeria to identify the bodies of their loved ones and to ensure that we repatriate the remains as soon as possible under the circumstances.
I would like to take this opportunity also to thank all family members and friends who have provided information to Government, which information has assisted the South African High Commission in Nigeria in its efforts to locate our fellow citizens. I would also like to commend all affected families for their patience and resolve during this very painful period. On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, I would like to thank the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their support during this difficult time. We also send our sincere condolences to the people of Nigeria and all other nations affected by this tragedy. I would like to assure all affected families that the Government will provide all the necessary support. Government will keep the public informed of developments around this tragedy. May the souls of the departed compatriots rest in peace. I thank you. Issued by: the Presidency Pretoria
Lagos state Governor, Raji Fashola today August 15th commissioned the newly refurbished Tejuosho market in Yaba Lagos, 7 years after the old market structure was completely gutted by fire.
The refurbished market, which used to have 1,484 lockup, has been increased to 2,640. Facilities in the new market complex includes banking spaces, 8 lifts to enable goods, services and people move up, two escalators for up and down movement of people, two ramps designed to assist physically handicapped people to get into and out of the building and a crèche where nursing mothers can attend to and keep their children while they are trading.
There is also a dedicated Fire Service Station within the complex with fire fighting systems built in the market to forestall any incident of fire disaster as well as a dedicated 800-vehicle capacity car-park unit.
Whether you are just stopping by, passing through or you are here to stay, it would be wise to live by these rules if you want to survive even for a day.
1. Welcome to Lagos
As you are driving into Lagos from the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at the end of the boundary between the state and Ogun State, you are welcome by three statues conspicuously telling you that you are now in Lagos and that you must drop every unacceptable habit you picked up on your way because, well, this is Lagos.
That is to tell you that in Lagos you must abide the rules of the city or you are on your own. Here, no one tells you to behave yourself, because you must have noticed right from the first bus stop that you are in no man’s land and you must, like we say here,’shine your eyes’ or else, you will be on your way back to your village.
2. The law officers are not your friend
5. The landlord is king
Guys, this is a very important lesson you have to learn in the art of survival in Lagos. Your landlord is king, no matter the kind of apartment you live in. It does not matter if the house is a dilapidated, decrepit and ramshackle shanty, he is still the owner of the house.
Even if he inherited it from his forefathers who built it in 1902, know that the cost of building materials have increased since then and you just have to pay for the increase. It does not matter if he has not carried out any repair works in the house in the past 17 years, if you cannot pay, pack up, simple.
6. Beware of free gifts
If you love free things, then you have to stay away from our City of Excellence because here, ‘awuf dey run belle’. In fact, there is no such thing as free gifts in Lagos and if you are one of those who believe you can roll along and live by free things, you will not find any succor in Lagos.
Let me give you this example. There was this young man who came to Lagos some time ago and decided to live on free things. What happened was that where he lived, there was a quiet and unassuming fraudster who became his friend. Whenever the ‘smart’ guy did some scam runs, he placed the amount in the guy’s bank account until the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) cottoned on to the scams and swooped in on the owner of the account.
The real fraudster scampered to God knows where, leaving the poor chap to explain how he came about the large sum in his account. By the time he could explain himself, he had spent two years in detention and by the time he came out, he had learnt a very bitter lesson and had to move back to his village.
7. Don’t argue with a market woman
The first rule of survival I learnt in Lagos was never to argue with a typical market woman. If you are as foolish as I was then, you will ignore this rule but be sure you are doing it at your own risk.
Lagos market women have caustic tongues like soda and they do not hide it at all. When they know you do not understand Yoruba language, they will insult you, your family, and even generations unborn. While are doing this, they will still smile and interject each abuse with some friendly banter in a smattering of English language, making you think they are actually joking with you.
Do not be deceived, those women are coached and tutored in the art of insults
8. Beware of ‘One Chance’ buses
If you are unfortunate enough to leave your house as early as 05:00 am to chase after buses, please do be very careful because not all the buses are meant for people. Especially if you see an almost empty bus or a bus where other ‘passengers’ are sitting strategically in different scattered positions. Take a detour and do not jump into it or else you may likely fall a victim of what we call ‘One Chance’ bus.
The driver and other occupants are likely to be armed robbers, aptly called ‘Catch on the Air’ robbers. Their modus operandi is to gather the passengers they can get, rob them while the bus is on top speed and push the unlucky passenger out of the speeding bus. Many have met their deaths through the ‘One Chance’ buses.
9. Never fight with a Lagos conductor
A very important rule of survival in Lagos is to try, at all cost, to avoid any physical combat with a bus conductor. It does not matter if the guy is the conductor of a ‘Kombi’ bus, a ‘Faragon’ bus or a ‘Molue’ bus, just shun them by all means.
It does not matter if a conductor loses five front teeth in a fight with you, he is always the winner. Don’t think you can easily dust them, which you probably can. They will come out smelling like roses and people will eventually blame you for engaging in a fight with a low life.
So no matter the provocation, let them be. And in fact, if the fight involves the balance of your fare, let them keep it.