Homeless Woman, now miserable

October 24, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ NEWS and Gossip


oseni condoled danfo home

Fate appears to be too much in a hurry to deal more deadly blows on Mrs Ke­hinde Oseni, a 68-year-old widow and grandma who lives in an abandoned local council revenue collection danfo with her daughter and five grandchildren on the street of Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.

Mrs oseni danfo houseBarely seven days after Saturday Sun pub­lished a cover story on her plight, her woes appeared to have doubled. Rather than help coming her way as in any ideal society, the Ig­bosere local council development area, where she works as a casual worker has ejected her from the bus that has for two years served as her apartment.

As was reported last weekend, Mrs Oseni is an indigene of Isale Eko, also known as Lagos Island where multi-billion naira busi­ness transactions go on everyday, and where ‘a daughter of the soil’ is not only homeless but has been abandoned by all to cruel fate.

Hers is a life of woes and she appears al­ready overwhelmed by them. She has obvi­ously lost faith in life and only waiting for death to do its worse. Born into a family of 14 children, with four twins, Mrs Oseni is today the only survivor. The rest are dead. Widowed 14 years ago, she initially found solace in a church which housed her in its residential quarters but was soon after ejected. From there, she moved into her family house but was later thrown out. With nowhere else to go, she had to move into a danfo bus aban­doned on the street, which until till this week served as a home for her, her only surviving daughter and five grandchildren.

“My parents gave birth to 14 children and had four twins. I am a twin also but all are dead. I am the only survivor in my family. Be­fore my husband and daughter died, we were living comfortably until death snatched her away after she gave birth to Mary. It seems death runs in my family”, she told Saturday Sun with tears rolling down her cheek.

As if that was not enough, obviously em­barrassed by the report last Saturday, offi­cials of the local council summoned her last Monday to warn her against exposing the government to public ridicule. The threat was followed by forceful ejection. The council of­ficials not only threw her and her grandchil­dren out, they sealed the bus by running a red tape round the bus as an indication that it is a no go area.

This was discovered when Saturday Sun visited Mrs Oseni at her danfo apartment. Asked why she vacated the bus apartment, Mrs Oseni who now lives in any available space on Freeman Street, Igbosere area of La­gos Island said since the last publication, she has been having issues with her superiors in the Council, adding that it was only God and other good bosses in her office that still made her keep her job.

“Monday after the publication I was called into one of the offices and was queried. It was painful. I was cowed. I agreed to speak to your paper to get help for my children and grandchildren not to disgrace my employers. But my boss thought I have disgraced them, I am sorry. And to those who understood my plight and stood by me, I would forever be grateful to them,” she said

While the pressure was on, fear trickled down the spine of the children. They were scared of their mother losing her job. Amina, Mrs Oseni’s daughter agreed that there was pressure on her mother and she was worried. She said that since her mother didn’t do it to embarrass the local government, there won’t be a problem.

Amina added that the children had stopped going to school since they started experienc­ing housing problems.

When quizzed on the name of the school her siblings attended, she was adamant. “I have forgotten the name of the school. For now, all we crave for is surviving daily, not going to school. Though, we had a plan to register them back at school when we finally have a place to lay our heads. The school that they were attending before was in Sabo.

“If I have the opportunity to beg her boss for her, I will because she did not agree to the interview to offend her bosses but to solicit help from Nigerians,” she lamented.

Like her mother, tears dropped from her eyes when she was reminded of her father. Nevertheless, she refused to say anything about her fathers’ relations. In a subdued voice, she told Saturday Sun “let us leave those ones.”

Children’s plea

Some of Mrs Oseni’s grandchildren; Temi­lade 12, Sekinat,18 who spoke to Saturday Sun wanted same thing, to go back to school. Tunde, 8 said he does not know how the four walls of a school look like again. “The last time I was in school was three years ago. I was in primary four when we stopped school­ing. I missed my friends then in the school,” he said

While Tunde was missing his ex-school friends, Sekinat and Temilade were praying for an opportunity to enroll for Junior West Africa Exam.

According to Sekinat, she expressed desire to be a lawyer and would seize any opportu­nity to get back to school.

“My mates in school would have been through with secondary school education by now. I know that there are other things to learn apart from going to school, but I believe edu­cation will help me to learn those things faster. I want to be a lawyer when I grow up,” she said

When Saturday Sun’s reporters visited the local government to find out why Mrs Os­eni was evicted from the danfo apartment, the Council chairman and the information officer were not available.

Provide accommodation for them, activists tell Ambode

Reacting to the eviction of Mrs. Oseni, founder, Crime Victim Foundation of Nigeria (CRIVFON), Mrs Glory Egbuji, described the local government’s action as an abuse of the old woman’s right. She added that the council should have taken Mrs. Oseni to the Office of the Public Defender, saying that the security of the woman and her kids should have been taken into consideration.

“They have designated dormitories for such people. They might have evicted her due to security reasons. They may think that she was exposed to danger and decided to take action. However, I expected them to take care of her by taking her to the office of the Office of the Public Defender. They have a shelter there for such people. I am not in support of what they did to her because I know they have alternative shelter which they can give her,” she stated.

Also, Debo Adeniran, a political activist, condemned the council’s action, saying it is a sign of the failure in the state system. He called on the state government to take security of the people seriously.

“It is an abdication of their responsibilities because no citizen should be homeless. Gov­ernment is supposed to provide houses for all the citizens. The failure to do so led the wom­an to convert a bus into her home. They have failed in the main purpose of government — to provide welfare and security for the people. The welfare of the woman has been jeopard­ised.

“By throwing her out of the place, they have compromised her security to life belongings. The totality of this shows the failure in the sys­tem. It is very shameful and unwarranted. It is my advice that government should provide shelter for her and other basic necessities she might need,” he stated.

Source: Sun news