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130 days after: How a broken community in Abule-Ado is picking up from the ruins of a mysterious explosion

130 days after: How a broken community in Abule-Ado is picking up from the ruins of a mysterious explosion

On a bright Sunday afternoon, March 15, 2020, the people of Abule-Ado, a suburb in Lagos State, were greeted by an unexpected disaster that has since brought a once bubbly community to ruins.

In what could be described as a Black Sunday, at least 20 people reportedly lost their lives with over 50 houses destroyed in the explosion which source still remains a mystery.

It has been one hundred and thirty days since that ill-fated incident in Abule Ado. Although the residents still mourn their losses with hopes that the government would live up to its promises of relief, Ripples Nigeria visited and tells the shattering story of how this community is picking up from its ruins.

The ruins of Shoba

It was a windy Tuesday morning when this Reporter and her colleague arrived Abule-Ado Bus-stop, along the ever-busy Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

Commercial motorcycle riders had seized the edge of the road beckoning on people heading into Shoba, the community worst affected by the blast. Having no need for their services, we walked the rest of the journey, lapping up the morning breeze that made our 25-minute walk a rare experience in a city drenched by pollution of all kinds.

Read also: ABULE ADO EXPLOSION: Lagos govt presents cheques to victims’ families

As we approached, Shoba rose in the horizon, cutting the image of a community in a hurry to discover itself. Sadly, we arrived to behold a horrific sight before us.

The whole area seemed like it was war-torn. Bricks, woods, roofing sheets and material belongings of affected residents littered the area and, for some parts of the community, hopes of revival anytime soon was definitely not near.

We traversed most part of the broken community, visiting first the site of the boarding school at the core of the crisis, Bethlehem Girls College, where Reverend Sister Henrietta Alohka reportedly lost her life trying to save her wards from a fire outbreak.

One hundred and thirty days after, Ripples Nigeria serves you unforgettable images of how Shoba and the larger Abule-Ado are rising from the ruins of their beleaguered community.

From total reconstruction of buildings to reinventing their businesses, the people of Shoba are hopeful that the days ahead hold bright hopes, as government delivers on some of its promises to restore the damaged community.

A destroyed building located at number 26 Gani Kehinde street, off Gani Adams Road


A destroyed student’s box containing uniforms, books and other valuables; another sad relic at Bethlehem Girls College, off Gani Adams Road


A tractor clears the remains of debris at Bethlehem Girls College, off Gani Adams Road


Abandoned house located at Mechanic village, Korodo gate, off Gani Adams Road


Building located off Hysent street, Gani Adams Road, marked for total demolition


Business activity gradually resumes as man is sighted close to explosion site at Gani Adams Road selling cement


Carcass of a vehicle overtaken by weeds lies off Chosen Street, Gani Adams Road, Abule-Ado


Image portraying the scar of the blast as a Customer’s shoe is spotted at Lake View Hotel, off Gani Adams Road, Abule-Ado


Life gradually returns to Basil Offia Crescent, Abule-Ado


On-going reconstruction of a dilapidated building located at number 2 Basil Offia Crescent, off Gani Adams Road, Festac Extension


Our Father the Most High God Ministry church located at number 14 Gani Adams Road still lies desolate after the explosion


Palace of Fakeye, Fakeye chieftaincy family compound, located off Gani Adams Road, in disarray due to the explosion


Remains of a mangled car sits beside Bethlehem College, off Gani Adams Road, showing the level of devastation wrought by the Abule-Ado explosion


Remains of Lake View Hotel, located on Gani Adams Road, after being demolished to the ground


What is left of a building located at Trade Fair Extension, opposite Mechanic village, off Gani Adams Road


What is left of Bethlehem Girls College, Abule-Ado, after being cleared of all debris


‘Ground zero’, located at Chosen street, off Gani Adams Road, where the blast occurred now overtaken by swamp


A building affected by the explosion, located at Linus Anameje Street, off Gani-Adams Road, gets some renovation


A building at Mechanic village, off korodo gate, Gani Adams Road, undergoes reconstruction after the explosion


Rare picture of a student’s pen and burnt belonging found at former Bethlehem Girls collage, off Gani Adams Road, Lagos


Renovated building located at Chosen Street, off Gani Adams Road, Abule-Ado


Ruins of a property on Gani Adams Road, few kilometers from blast site


View of destroyed buildings at Linus Anameje Street, off Gani Adams Road


What is left of former Bethlehem Girls College, located off Gani Adams Road


A building completely destroyed and abandoned at Trade Fair Extension, off Gani Adams Road, Abule-Ado


A building gets a facelift at number 10 Gani Adams Road, Shoba


A school undergoes reconstruction at Plot 3, Basil Offia Crescent, Abule-Ado, Festac Extension, Lagos


Another destroyed property at Chosen Street, off Gani Adams Road


Building under construction destroyed by the explosion at Mechanic village, off Gani Adams Road, Trade Fair Extension

By Sunday Nwana Ruth and Oluwatosin Oladimeji Amosun…

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