Photo: Olaleye Aluko
Bridge in Lagos State since 1999 after losing contact with his family.
octogenarian had been spared during constant raids of the area by
policemen after he explained to them that he was a retired soldier and
his family members had allegedly deserted him.
worked as a security man at the Mosafejo Motor Park, was relieved of his
duty a few years ago because of old age.
moved to the Makoko, Yaba area of Lagos, until his rent expired and he
was asked to vacate his apartment.
staying in the Mosafejo Motor Park during the day, and had been sleeping
under the Oshodi Bridge. He said he last saw his wife, Beatrice, and his
two children – Morili and Jimoh – around 1999 before they relocated to
Owerri, Imo State, where his wife hailed from.
1967. When I left in 1979, my last place of service was at the
cantonment in Adekunle Fajuyi, Ibadan, Oyo State. I met my wife when I
served in Owerri, Imo State, and we had the two kids.
hometown in Owerri in 1999. I was in Makoko, Yaba, till I packed out
when I could not pay the rent. So, I moved to Oshodi. I was collecting
my pensions from the army until I lost my ID card in the park.
sergeant. I was usually given N12,000 monthly as pension. I used to sell
herbs in the motor park area. Selling herbs was my father’s handiwork.
So, I returned to it after misplacing my ID card.
anyone personally taking care of me except God. When I stopped selling
herbs, the union executives assisted me by making me a security man in
sleeping under the bridge. I have been sleeping there for about 17
years. I need to see my family again. I need to be helped out of this
Oshodi area, they saw me, and I approached one of their commanders and
explained my situation to him. He said his men should leave me alone. I
do not have money to rent any house again. I want the government to help
me. I do not have any sickness. I am not taking any injection. I only
need help,” he added.
Motor Park, Hamzat Sanusi, said the octogenarian was allowed to stay in
the park because they saw the military ID card on him before he
card. We know him very well. But since he lost that card, he had not
been given any entitlement. He claimed to have worked as a military
of lack of family care. Since he had served the government, we think
the government should rise to his plight.”