POLITICS: 27th of January 2002: A Memorial Day That Will Linger in Lagos Nigeria as Oshodi-Isolo Settlers Mourn

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By Nelson Osuala

Is it  possible for me to forget the events that took place in Lagos Nigeria at Okeafa Isolo in which many sons and daughters with a supposed bright future lost their lives as they were trapped and drawned in the Okeafa canal in an attempt to excape from the bomblast that took place in Ikeja Military cantonment which was just a stone throw from Okeafa where this sad incidence took place? 


I had just concluded my post primary education(secondary school) in Okota and was residing somewhere in Surulere then, memories of that events seems like yesterday. 


Eyewitnesses reported that early that morning people had woken up and had prepared to go about their normal business. Hustling and bustling which is the case with settlers in Lagos. Unknown to many that what seems like another blessed day would turn out as a day of mourning in Oshodi Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos state.  


Reporters had it that some dynamites and other sophisticated weapons of mass destruction supposedly left over and recovered from the Biafran war which was buried in what looks like a careless manner underneath the ground exploded in turns due to subjection to intense temperature and prepared. Whether this is true or no remains a mystery as there were different accounts to the story. 


It happens that those residing within this catchment in other to excape death ran into this death trap enmass like an unguarded herd of cattle. Since it was actually dark as the sun had prior to this time gone to its resting place. Many people especially children supposing that the canal which was covered with leaves and grasses was a dry land, rushed into it like the biblical Egyptians ran into the red sea in the pursuit of the Israelites. 


The consequence was that they all met their end. Parents were robbed of their children, people were did place from their homes, new accommodations and rents skyrocketed and became difficult to afford as load other, landlords and landladies saw this as an opportunity to enrich themselves.  


Today is a 13th year memorial service for that sad unforgettable event. May the souls of all these faithful departed continue to rest in peace as we all will live to remember them.. Amen.