A Cable Network News (CNN) reporter, Stephanie Busari, has expressed grief over her friend, Samuel Iwelu, who died in the Ikoyi building collapse, which happened on Monday.
As earlier reported by The PUNCH, family members of Iwelu resorted to printing out his photographs for display at the site of the collapsed building on Wednesday.
Busari, who is the Bureau Head of CNN Africa, said she was reporting a few metres away from the site of the collapsed building on Monday, oblivious that Iwelu was also trapped in the rubble.
“I have reported on many disasters in my career but I never, ever thought my latest report on the building collapse in Ikoyi would hit so close to home.
“I was reporting just metres away from the collapsed site that fateful Monday night, not knowing you were under the rubble, Sammy,” she wrote.
Sharing a video of herself while reporting at the site, via her Instagram page on Saturday, Busari said she wished she could have offered Iwelu help in his final moments.
“I would have dug through the rubble and called out your name,” she said.
Busari further described Iwelu as a large-hearted man who loved deeply, gave freely, and cherished his family and friends.
“I can’t believe I am writing final words about you who was so full of life. Always smiling, laughing and full of tales and gist. The ultimate hustler who fought so many battles so bravely. I am so proud of you, Sammy.
“I wish I told you more often. Your work ethic, your heart, your integrity, your courage. I was looking forward to all your milestones, dancing down the aisle as you finally found that true love your heart desired, celebrating all your wins. I know you are in a better place but it hurts so much to say goodbye so soon in your prime of life.
“Just 34, you are gone too soon, my darling aburo. I will love you forever. Sun re Samuel Iwelu, Sammy blessed, Man like Sammy,” she wrote.
According to the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, 38 bodies and nine survivors have been recovered from the rubble of the building, as of Friday, the fourth day of the ongoing rescue operation.