A glimpse of hope has finally beamed its light on the plight of 68-year-old homeless grandma, Mrs Kehinde Oseni and her family as the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Justice’s Public Advice Centre (PAC) has stepped in to offer her succour.
Saturday Sun had broken the story on Mrs. Kehinde’s plight. For about two years, the casual worker with Igbosere Local Council Development Area, her adult daughter and five grandchildren were living in a danfobus after she was thrown out of a church building and later her family house.
After our first publication, her employer, Igbosere Local Council Development Area, who owns the bus, abandoned on Freeman Street, Igbosere area of Lagos Island, sent her out of her bus ‘apartment’ and sealed the temporary shelter with a white and red tape, thus barring Oseni from moving near. Since then, they have been sleeping in any available open space on the street while the kids cannot also enroll in any school because of fees while they follow her to parties to wash plates as their own means of feeding. Oseni had lost her husband some 11 years ago.
Nevertheless, all hopes lost might soon be restored as she and her daughter, Amina were on Monday invited by PAC to the Lagos State government secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja for possible help and general counsel.
PAC is a Department of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice that provides Lagosians easy access to information concerning violation of human rights, social exclusion and discrimination, social welfare and child rights, among others.
Though, Mrs. Oseni was advised to file a law suit against her employers concerning violation of her fundamental human rights, she chose not to.
In her words: “On Saturday last week, when I was contacted, I was asked to come to Alausa to make entry, which I did. The lawyer asked me to fill a form for complaint against my employers. I rejected that without a second thought. All I want is help. I don’t want to create an enmity between myself and anybody, not even my employers. I just want shelter for myself and my family, something to do in order to cater for them.”
She added that all she wants is for her grandchildren to go to school and have a normal life like other children on the street who have safe places to sleep at night and school to go to in the morning.
“What my employers did to me and my children is something I don’t want to discuss with anyone. I don’t want to file any suit against them. I rejected the suit advice because it might affect my job later. All I want is a chance for my grandchildren to have a normal life; go to school and sleep in a safe place at night,” she added.
Even as hope seems to be on her way, Mrs Oseni could not stop the flow of tears down her cheek, as she stated that she could not remember the last time she slept in a proper apartment under lock and key.
“I will be very grateful if they finally get me the help they assured. Would you believe me if I tell you that I can’t remember the last time I slept in a room that has a key and a closed window? Though they said that there are still some bureaucratic processes involved. Within my heart, I am already glad that there is now hope as I had lost hope a long time ago,” she stated.
A source in PAC that pleaded anonymity confirmed that Mrs. Oseni was actually contacted but declined giving further details.