15 years after the Ikeja Military Cantonment Bomb Blasts in Lagos, some victims’ families on Friday cried out to both the Federal and Lagos State governments over the delay in the payment of the compensation promised them. The Chairman, 2002 Ikeja Bomb Blasts Victims’ Families, Nurudeen Oyegbemi, made the call at the site of the mass burial, where prayers were offered for the souls of the departed at Oke-Afa, Isolo, in Lagos.
While speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Mr. Oyegbemi said the Lagos State Government paid compensation to 70 families of victims, while 84 families were excluded.
“This incident happened on January 27, 2002 and most of us lost our relatives and loved ones.
“When the incident happened, we were told that those that lost their loved ones should register their names with the state government.
“The following year, the Federal Government invited us to the National Assembly and gave N500,000 to those that lost their beloved ones, while N250,000 was given to the victims’ families that got missing.
“According to the government, they made us to understand that the monies given were just relief packages, adding that they would soon compensate us adequately.
“After ten years, the Lagos State Government, out of the 154 victims’ families, gave only 70 families N250,000 while the remaining 84 were left behind and since then, they have not done anything about it,” he said.
Mr. Oyegbemi, who lost his 14-year-old son in the bomb blast, appealed to the federal and state governments not to abandon them and come to their aid.
The vice chairman of the group, Ise Christopher, who also lost his daughter, Adesua, during the blasts, aligned himself with the chairman by appealing to the governments to come to their aid.
Recalling the unfortunate incident, the 57-year-old man said the day, which he described as the saddest day of his life, would have been a multiple disaster for his family.
“The elder brother of Adesua was also in the canal but we were able to bring him out alive and revive him, although we spent a lot of money to revive him in the hospital,” he said.
A woman who claimed she lost her four children, Saulat Feyisetan, while crying, appealed to the governments to assist them, even as their loved ones could not be revived.
“If my children were alive, I know what they would have done for me but the truth is that I am always sad anytime I think and pass across this burial ground.
“They should not neglect us but rather help us financially,’’ she cried out.
The January 27, 2002 bomb blasts led to the deaths of over 1000 persons and left many others injured, following a stampede, during the blasts.