By ZION ZADOK
One month after the loss of their property, the victims of the Nigerian Christian Corpers’ Fellowship (NCCF) home fire try to pick up the pieces while working towards recovering some of their credentials. The sense of loss is still fresh and overwhelming for most of them, as only a few had just their statements of results or photocopies of result and not originals.
As sad as the incident is, they try to look at the brighter side of it that life renews hope everyday. Some of the affected victims shared their experiences and pains with Abuja Metro and also recalled the extent of losses they incurred in the incident.
Their pains Adekemi Rachael Adejimo, a Batch C Corps member and graduate of Chemical Engineering from Kaduna State Polytechnic said “on Friday December 7, we went for rural evangelism somewhere in Abaji and precisely on Saturday, Papa (NCCF President) called us together and said our house caught fire. We wondered what went wrong? Even the people we left back at home said they don’t know the cause of the fire. I would not know if people were not around to help and stop the fire.
But we later heard that they made every possible effort, and even called the Fire Service. One office said its trucks had flat tires, and the other complained that the incident was not in their area of coverage. I can’t understand why in Nigeria there is no emergency measure that works.
Why won’t the Fire Service save the situation first before explaining later, but unfortunately, nothing was brought out. All my credentials – primary school, WAEC and NECO certificates and also my ND and HND certificates got burnt.
My clothes, bags, jewelry and so many other things including money were also lost because our mission at Abaji was rural evangelism and we were not expected to take much to the field. We only took two pairs of clothes and our bible. Everything else we came into Abuja with was in that house when it got burnt, and so many of us were affected. Oreki Ngozi, also a Batch C Corps member and graduate of University of Benin, who was recently called to the Bar and issued her practicing certificate on November 20, 2012 said; “We went for an evangelical mission at Alu village in Abaji on Friday December 7, 2012 so it was on the 8th we got a news that the family house was razed. We got news of the incident while still in Abaji, and none of us could actually say what caused the fire because we all got second hand information from people who were there.
We came back on Sunday and saw for ourselves that truly nothing in the building was spared. For the cause of the fire, it is still a mystery because everything happened fast neighbours around could not even ascertain the cause of fire. All our properties went with the fire, my practising certificate, my membership of the Bar, my Law School certificate, LLB certificate, Diploma, GCE and WAEC, birth certificate, screening certificate from University of Benin, everything was burnt. As at now I have no document with me.”
Batch B Corp member, Adeabe Ife-oluwa, graduate of the University of Ilorin said: “There was fire incident at the family house, which burnt everything down. In that fire I lost my credentials, my clothing and everything, my NECO and WAEC certificates, money, university certificates, my phone and everything. I know I can’t get everything back but I pray I get the most important certificates back if not all.”
Makinde Atinuke Oluatobi, also Batch C corps member and graduate of Nutrition and Dietetics from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta explained that; she learnt her properties got burnt while out on the same assignment.
“I lost my books, clothing, jewelry, my flash, pictures and especially my credentials, letter for some course to run in 2013. These are some of the things I can remember. The only escape I have is that most of the documents I had with me were just the photocopies.” Olatimi Oluwaseun Adedemi, graduate of the Federal Polytechnic, Bida read Marketing and said; their mission out was part of their fellowship’s humanitarian service.
“It was a friend that called to inform me of the incident. It sounded unbelievable, but after several calls from people I know who live around the house, I finally confirmed that it was true. The reality of the extent of loss did not dawn on me until I returned the following day to see for myself. I couldn’t believe that everything was lost but here it was right before me. They were over 40 of us living in that house, all our properties, credentials and other valuables got burnt. It was really sad. Now we are trying to pick up the pieces and recover from the incident because when you think about what you have laboured for four or five years and all of a sudden they are gone, it’s really hard to believe and deal with. We are still waiting for the outcome of the efforts of the Nigerian Christian Corpers’ Fellowship (NCCF) executives to get affidavit for our lost credentials.
Oyebanji Abiodun Israel, a graduate of Chemical Engineering from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomosho explained that: “While on evangelism in Alu community in Abaji we were called that our family house at Mararaba caught fire and everything got burnt including our credentials, other documents and essential properties. We have informed the police and we are waiting for them to give us letter so we can work out plans to get court affidavit.
Also, Eso Micheal Adewole who bagged a Bachelors of Technology (B. Tech) in Civil Engineering at the Ladoke Akintola University said he didn’t only lose credentials, laptop, a hard drive but also two unpublished books he had written. One of them is lost completely to the fire as he was yet to create the back up for it. Incidents of this magnitude are not events planned for, they just happen. The only recompense for these corps members is if they can regain their lost certificates and other important documents.