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Yesterday at the Lagos General hospital where some of the casualties of the Ita-Faaji collapsed building are being treated, I met Maria Adeyemo. I'll tell you about her.

Maria birthed 3 beautiful girls, two of whom are twins. Maria has struggled all her life but she's always wanted her babies to get an education even though she didn't have such privilege. Thankfully, she got married to a hardworking man who also has the same belief.
Maria sells cheap biscuits and candies on the road at Eko Idumota. These goods are placed in a small tray, while she alternates between sitting and standing to attract customers, at the end of the day, Maria may turn over N2,000
Coupled with what her husband makes, they were able to save up N35,000 for the twins to attend school this term. Even though the payment came late, the owner of the school allowed Taiwo and Kehinde Adeyemo stay in school because they're friendly neighbours:
The Adeyemo's also stayed in the collapsed building.

On Wednesday, Maria was on a motorcycle, her goods tied in a wrapper, balanced on her head with one hand. She heard her phone ring and picked up with the other hand, "Hello,"
she answered the call but the breeze hindered her from hearing clearly. She asked the bike man to please park as she just heard her kids being mentioned.

The bike man parked, the line seemed clearer now, "Hello, Mo ti n gboyin, ki le s'ope o sele si Taiwo ati Kehinde?"
(Hello, I can hear you better now, what happened to Taiwo and Kehinde?)

The caller simply said, "come back home, please come back home."

It was sunny but Maria began to freeze from inside, she knew something was wrong, she prayed all the way back home, that nothing was wrong.
When Maria got to Tinubu, people began to avoid her gaze, so she alighted from the bike and ran, her wrapper falling off, her white underskirt leaving little to the imagination but who cared? She could already see the collapsed building and she repeatedly said to herself,
"Ori mi ko, aya mi ko, Ori mi ko, aya mi ko" (My head rejects this, my mind rejects this.)

It was already chaos around the building but people let her through because Maria was going to get herself under the rubbles to fish out her babies.
The twins were in there and she was going to save them herself. 'What else was a mother's job?' Maria wondered.

She felt hands on her shoulder holding back, 'Huh? who is that that wants to be unfortunate? Why are they trying to stop me from getting my babies? Ah ahn!'
Maria thought to herself. She finally realised it was her husband who held her and he said to her, "Let them find them. They will find them."

So, she waited. Till today, Maria cannot recollect how long she waited for but she kept the faith and prayed.
She prayed that her babies would be one of those who were brought out alive. She had seen a man loose 3 of his children right there but that wasn't her portion. "Ori mi ko, Aya mi ko" Maria continued to chant.

Then she saw her, Kehinde.
That was Kehinde being laid on a stretcher but her husband had seen her as well so they both rushed to identify their daughter. Maria knew Kehinde was dead as soon as she laid her eyes on her baby. But she kept faith, held Kehinde's hand and prayed.

Kehinde was pronounced dead.
Maria's husband followed the medics to the morgue but she waited behind because there were two of them in there and only one had come out, dead. There's hope, that on this same day, God would show her mercy and not take two of her babies away in one day.

Not long after,
Taiwo was found, she wasn't moving too but she had no scratches on her body like Kehinde. "Oh Lord, I will do anything if you don't take this blessing away." Maria pleaded with God as she held Taiwo's hand, waiting for the medic to say something.

"She's breathing..."
The medic was still talking but she couldn't hear anymore. Maria threw herself over her baby and wailed, In sadness, gratitude and hope that there would be no more bad news.

At the hospital, the nurse said to Maria, go home and bring Taiwo change of clothes, please.
Maria had gotten to the hospital gate before she realised, there was no home.

™️Diaryofanaijagirl ©️
To help Maria and her family get accommodation, here’s her husband’s account number.
Adeyemo Adeleke Sunday
Sterling Bank
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