Family members of the victims of the 21-storey building that collapsed in Ikoyi area of Lagos State have called on the Lagos State government to speed up the process of identifying the bodies of the loved ones.
These lamentations are resonating in Lagos State as the death toll in the collapsed building rose to 44 yesterday as rescue operations entered the eighth day.
The commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, had at the weekend disclosed that the bodies were ready for identification, while urging relatives to go to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba, Lagos, for the exercise.
While relatives were seen at the mortuary unit of the IDH, LEADERSHIP findings showed that some relatives were frustrated with the long procedure involved before the bodies could be released to them.
According to Emmanuel Abel, the long procedure is frustrating, adding, “I received a call, instructing me to come to IDH on Monday for DNA testing. I have been here since 8:00am, thinking they would allow me to confirm if my uncle is among those at the mortuary and then take his corpse for burial, but rather, I was told to fill a form, submit my brother’s photo, together with a copy of my national identity card and wait for my sample to be collected.
“While they have assured us that they will start taking relatives’ samples for the DNA test, I just found out they will not release my uncle’s corpse to me today. They told me they will call me on another day for that. My family cannot move on without him being buried. I am pleading with the government to help fast track the process, to enable us to mourn peacefully,” Abel said.
The father of the female member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), also pleaded with the government to release his daughter so she could be laid to rest.
He said, “As a Muslim, I am supposed to bury my daughter that same day I found out that she is dead. She died a painful death. All I am asking for is for her to be buried in a proper way, so she can rest.