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A Shocking Look at the Ebeano Fire in Lekki | Watch

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Yesterday, when BellaNaija featured the sad news about the major fire outbreak at Prince Ebeano Supermarket in Lekki, BellaNaijarians commented that the situation highlighted the socioeconomic issues Nigerians are facing today. Basically, whether you are in Lekki or Makoko, without access to public services such as an effective fire service, the result in times of calamity is often the same – tragic.

This video from Pulse TV is from the scene of the Ebeano fire. We get to hear a first hand account of what happened from a member of staff. We also see the community effort to put out the fire and salvage property and goods.
We also get a peek at the Police accusing young men of being looters attempting to capitalize on the tragic situation.

The entire situation was chaotic.

As much as we like to see the glamorous side of Nigeria, this is the sad reality of Naija!

34 Comments

  1. elsie

    November 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    OMG!!!… my heart goes out to the owners.. Only God knows the state of their health when they heard this… its very important for every building to have systems in place to ensure people are safe, train staff as well to handle situations relating to fire… have multiple fire exit with signs!!! not just one door before people here would begin to lash me with comment…

  2. Truth

    November 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Excellent reporting. Every issue glaringly and tragically highlighted.

    Lekki Phase One is a glorified slum. I live there, I know first hand. Zero infrastructure, zero governance. It’s like Lagos State just forgot about that place, possibly assuming that will all the bigwigs there we can take care of ourselves. Absolutely no planning, incongruously built houses spring up there daily, a tiny plot can have 6 flats and no one even cares about the strain on the amenities, roads, water, light…Every street is their own government.
    How can there not be a central hospital or fire service in Lekki Phase One? This case just shows how we suffer as a people when there is no reason to

    • ms lala

      November 4, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      May God continue to guide and protect you…my dear friend you said it all. No where is good period. Island o , mainland o is still the same drama. I wonder what will happen to the young happen who got cut with the broken glas.s… if he can’t afford it, it might be a dire situation for him. My friends keep telling uh huh i live on the island, I don;t do mainland, Island this Island that. I laugh in Swahili because the day yawa go gas eh…they will know they live in Nigeria not just Island.

    • hezekina pollutina

      November 5, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Sorry to Obeano! Hope there are no fatalities, and that the company is insured. In regards to your “glorified slum” comment — you are so right. If a place like Lekki cannot get it together, how should the rest of Nigeria? As in, no matter who you are in Nigeria and how much you have in your pocket, it seems that you are not exempt from the decay in our system, all of us are vulnerable, and shaking like leaves. So what does that say? Instead of running around thinking money will solve all the problems why not get the system to work on a basic level for everyone. People should have some kind of trust in infrastructure of their society – Police, Firefighters, Politicians, Roads, Electricity, Transportation – these things have to work – for everyone – at the most basic level. That gives people some few less things to worry about. Makes them feel secure. Why should we not feel secure in our society?
      Maintenance culture – cleaning, renovating, renewing, sustaining – this needs to be learned and promoted. Fire drills, city planning, long term sustainable planning, we need this now!

      I would like to propose that a decent society is one where the most vulnerable, are able to live a decent quality of life. That is to say: Everyone – no matter the socio-economic background has a right to a safe, decent quality of life. That is how a society is judged.
      E no go betta for “anyone” In a place where the poor are considered “nobody” – the amount of resentment and hunger that generates will make it a place where even a “somebody” will not be safe. And a place where even if you have money, you are vulnerable – well maybe that is karma. A place that no matter what you have to watch your back because no one can be trusted, will keep your blood pressure at an all time high. A place where there is no infrastructure, where there are no signs that the government is working for the people, where there is no security, and if anything goes wrong you are on your own – That is not a country, that is Mad Max in Thunder dome!
      To our government in Nigeria, less short-term planning and chop wipe mouthing. To the citizens, It may be necessary to create their own community groups to help out and fill the gaps until the government gets it together – if they ever do..

    • Idomagirl

      November 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      That’s the thing about Nigeria that continues to baffle me, the so-called ‘highbrow’ areas that people pose & make mouth with are nothing to write home about. How can one spend so much on accommodation but when it rains you can’t leave your house?

  3. June

    November 4, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    This vicious cycle has to END. What kind of nation are we building? This is soooo SAD.

  4. veechu

    November 4, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Parastatals need on the job training, reinforcement on what to do when things like this happen. Every job has its hazard. Even training on chemical component is needed. If the supposed wine in the storage was alcoholic, then it is highly flammable. There is a reason why in an airplane, the oxygen mask comes on you first before helping another. Protect yourself first.

  5. solape

    November 4, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Now…this is Big SHAME.

    Where they no fire alarm systems in that entire building with such investment?
    What is the essence of being resident in Lekki if the response to such disaster is same as Makoko?
    What exactly are our priorities in Nigeria as a people?

    Too many questions…so sad

    • Dee

      November 5, 2015 at 3:25 am

      I mistakenly loved your comment! Excuse me, what do you mean by purpose of being resident in Lekki when the same response isas that of Makoko? So people who live in Makoko are not human beings, they’re animals that don’t deserve to live. What sort of insensitivestatement is that? So the lives lost in Makoko is less important than the goods lost in Lekki?

    • Read to understand not to attack

      November 5, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Dee you’re mis interpreting solapes comment. It’s a fact that more is expected of Ebaeno compared to Makoko. It doesn’t demean Makoko at all because all lives are equal and precious . But Lekki is supposed to be a highbrow area with educated people……the context of that statement was with regards to her referring to fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. We can understand that people in Makoko may not know better or have much less to lose but how can such a big store in an area that services boogies should be held to a higher standard. I hope they had insurance.

  6. April

    November 4, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Honestly…I think Nigeria needs to pass a law that arrest civilians who block the road during an emergency. If they would just clear the roads emergency vehicles can get through! Like why sit there with your fucking cameras and watch!!! GET THE FUCK OUT THE WAY!! Its so irritating! one of the reasons I cannot move back home…this is ridiculous!

    • 1 + The One

      November 5, 2015 at 9:42 am

      During a disaster people bring out their cameras/phones in many countries, not just Nigeria. Everyone wants to be the ‘first’ to break the news on social media.
      It’s not about Nigeria, but the social media culture!

  7. lotusflower

    November 5, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Victims with cuts and injuries were turned away from the hospital because they didn’t have 30,000 Naira? It was an emergency situation! How can you be turning away injured victims during a crisis?? SMH

    • Bitter truth

      November 5, 2015 at 7:52 am

      lotusflower, save those sentiments for hospitals that crashed and got run down or are under equipped because people would receive care on credit and never pay.

      Tell that to many doctors who got financially ruined in the process of trying to honor the Hippocratic oath. Tell that to the hospitals who have outdated equipment or no equipment at all because their accounts are barely balancing enough to pay their staff.

      You should always look at both sides of a situation. In an ideal setting, emergency care must be addressed but it has been tried and tested and many have ruined the chances of others at of their right to care due to their lack of integrity. Many patients beg their way out of a bill.

      Blame your country for not having a working healthcare system that is appropriately funded. In an ideal situation, victims should be seen at regional general hospitals run by the government taxes and health insurance system paid for by the people…..the same people who won’t pay their relatives hospital bills but will buy aso ebi for the funeral.

  8. Demolition

    November 5, 2015 at 12:21 am

    This quote by the writer sums it all up “As much as we like to see the glamorous side of Nigeria, this is the sad reality of Naija!”

    We see all the parties, events, etc and we get a false view of Naija. These are some of the reasons i left and will not return for a while. Basic amenities seriously lacking – misplaced priorities!!!!

  9. dtruth

    November 5, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Reporter; When did you think you got the call? Fireboss: I don’t remember…CASE CLOSED
    Tomorrow Nigerians will be all over social media arguing and abusing ppl how they are rich and the biggest nation in Africa……I returned to the USA 9 days ago after missing home for 11 months and just my first day in Lagos I remembered why I actually moved from Nigeria in the first place…You guys can have all your mango ,pineapple and potatoe island and all the billions in the world to yourselves…I chose quality over quantity till death…kachifonu ….Nigeria nwuru anwu

    • xag

      November 5, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Exact same thing I said when I went through the airport “Despite the nostalgia, I finally remembered why I left”. The food, parties and events are great. The traffic, the lack of physical infrastructure (roads, drainage, electricity) and social infrastructure (healthcare, security, fire service), make the place one big nightmare. Nigerians dey try abeg, to succeed in that adversity is not easy.

    • Idomagirl

      November 5, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      No be small thing. I keep hearing how in Nigeria “you can make it big” bla, bla,bla. But what is the quality of life here? Apart from infrastructural decay what about the terrible insecurity?
      Ike gwu.

  10. Seruiously

    November 5, 2015 at 6:06 am

    Insurance marketers will get some good deals selling this tragic incident to young entrepreneurs in naija.

  11. iba

    November 5, 2015 at 6:14 am

    sad

  12. mrs chidukane

    November 5, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Chai, Nwoke na ife! Prince Ebeano take heart, you’re coming back bigger and better. This is very sad, unfortunately it is what we see in Nigeria. Lagos even has fire service, my state Abia doesn’t have any functional fire service. They only exist to charge you ridiculous amounts when you want to renew your Fuel station license.

    • M&

      November 5, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Ah, so u r my sister in ‘worst state’ predicament! my bp rises at the mention of Abia state, which has slowly turned into a jungle, and I saw the useless former gov turned crook senator on tv the other day showing senate committee members round some bad roads and gullies in his state (which he gov’d for 8 years and could not do anything about), and he was even chewing gum, to add to my annoyance! I believe Ebeano should have insurance, I understand that its a little percentage of the goods you have in ur shop (maybe 3% or so), and then u can get full cover. I actually like staying in the hotel beside them anytime I come to Lekki bcos I like to shop in Ebeano so I hope they recover.

  13. Xristybabes

    November 5, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Please Prince Ebeano take heart!this is really sad,losing out when xmas is around the corner.

  14. Aanuolutomiwa

    November 5, 2015 at 9:42 am

    it is well prince, its high time company start to train their staff on how to use the extinguisher, my office is surrounded with extinguishers but i doubt if 2 pple can operate it, let staffs be trained and let government improve on our fire service.

  15. Eva

    November 5, 2015 at 10:16 am

    @Truth and dtruth i could not stop liking your comments. My thoughts exactly! Everywhere in Lagos is a slum some are just more expensive than the others. Nigeria go better, Nigeria go better!!! WHEN??? I HAVE BEEN HEARING THAT SINCE THE 80s. Like dtruth said above, am done! no use hoping and wishing. This is the reality of life here. A government that takes ALL and gives absolutely nothing back. A government that robs its citizens mentally, socially, economically and spiritually. You take my tax and give me nothing! i have to pay for education for my kids, generate my own power-transformer and generating sets, drill my own borehole, build my own house and pay you ground rent for no service at all, construct my own road, import my own food and drinks, provide my own healthcare, provide, provide my own transportation and of recent provide my own fire service!!!!!! Will it ever be well with such a government???

  16. Stanley Charity

    November 5, 2015 at 10:56 am

    This indeed so sad.

  17. Stanley Charity

    November 5, 2015 at 10:56 am

    *is

  18. xag

    November 5, 2015 at 11:12 am

    No fire facilities meanwhile men are paying Lekki Concession Company and co.

  19. Vocalcords

    November 5, 2015 at 11:12 am

    This is so sad and heartbreaking! Ebeano is my favourite supermarket. Living or working in Lekki is becoming more and more hazardous these days. If it’s not fire, it’s robbery. I remember just leaving my office 2 days ago and seeing black smoke rising into the sky some distance away and I was chatting with my friend and speculating if the fire was from that filing station that got burnt months ago. Nobody is willing to take responsibility, Lekki is just becoming the worst. Let’s not even go into the demonic traffic that has become the norm thanks to the Ikoyi bridge. It’s just a sad state of affairs, if something isn’t done soon, it’s only going to get worse. May God help, comfort and restore everything Mr Ebeano has lost in the fire..

  20. dhee

    November 5, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Condolence to the shop owners, This just goes to show the system in our country. Nothing ever works right. Had this experience in November 2008 and the so-called firefighters actually brought their truck EMPTY. When they went to refill at their Ojuelegba station, it was just too late. Prince ebeano, may God restore your loss in multiple folds.

  21. Tot

    November 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I keep asking myself WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE BLACK MAN? Why are we so retrogressive, we know the right thing to do but don’t do it. Government (senators, local govt councillors etc) comprises of people from our midst so we all share the blame

  22. Adaeze Writes

    November 5, 2015 at 11:30 am

    This so sad! I love that supermarket, it’s quite affordable and you can get almost everything there. Chai! I really hope it’s insured (I’m sure it’s insured) no one runs a big business like that without insuring it. We all have to be careful over fire outbreaks! too dangerous!

  23. Tamales

    November 5, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I know this supermarket just lost a lot of money, but whatever happened to the people affected in Ebute Metta and Makoko? Were the fire fighters also there?

  24. OMG

    November 6, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Omgizzle……y are the fire fighter walking around sluggishly and civilians entering a burning building to save things????????????????

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