The torrential rainfall of almost eight hours in Ondo State on Monday evening claimed the life of a final year female student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko Southwest local government.
The deceased simply called ‘Doyin’, an indigene of Ekiti State, was washed away to an unknown destination by flood from a canal very close to her residence.
Her landlord, Elemukona Ademola, who narrowly escaped the flood, said: “I had to climb cocoa tree when many people thought I had been carried away by the flood.’’
At the scene of the incident, the Ondo Commissioner for Agriculture, Otunba Gboyega Adefarati, warned citizens from building houses very close to canals. He also cautioned those who are in the habit of blocking the drainages with refuse to desist from such act as this practice lead to flooding.
The university authorities yesterday suspended lectures and tests earlier scheduled for Tuesday over the incident. A statement by the institution’s Acting Registrar, Opeolu Akinfemiwa, however, said all students should resume on Wednesday.
According to him: “The university is leaving no stone unturned in the quest to find the missing student. Divers and other volunteers have been sought to search the path of the river in a bid to find the missing under graduate.”
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Akungba, CSP Shakiru Ajibola, confirmed the incident and said three persons including a landlord of the house where the girl was carried away by flood were rescued. He noted that divers were still looking for the undergraduate in the neighbouring rivers.
Already, many roads in Akokoland had become impassable as serious erosion had affected them, especially Jubilee road, Hospital junction, Bankole road Ilepa Ikare, Okoja Awara road,Irun to Ojeka,Irun to Surulere to Oluta and Okeagbe to Afin to Eshe.
Also, travellers and residents coming in and out of Ado Ekiti were yesterday left stranded for several hours as flood again submerged the popular Ureje bridge in the state capital. The bridge is the major link to communities such as Ureje, Federal Polytechnic Ado, Afe Babalola University, some communities in Ekiti and Ondo states.
The flood that submerged the bridge yesterday made it the fourth time the bridge has been overrun by flood in the last two months. Many motorists and commuters were stranded and helpless since there were no alternative routes for them.
The bridge was swept off on the eve of the October 1, the independence day, which led to the palliative work done by the state government to allow temporary use of the bridge. A resident of Oke Ureje, Mrs. Olaniyi Rebecca, lamented that her children had gone to school on the other side of the bridge, wondering how they would return home.
Meanwhile, in Lagos State, residents of Itowolo, Ajegunle, Owode Irawo all along Ikorodu Road have urged the state government to assist concerning the flood that has ravaged the community in recent times. When The Guardian visited the affected areas, many of the residents were having unpleasant times using makeshift bridges and canoes to move freely. Some have temporarily vacated their houses.
Chief Eniola Alabo, who resides in Ajegunle urged government of Lagos and Ogun to meet and discuss on the need not to open the Oyan Dam before October. He said the Atlantic Ocean level rises in October and if the dam is opened around the period, it leads to flooding in the area.
He said: “Some years ago during the Jonathan administration, there was flooding and the president came to our area. He released N700 million to assist us. Fashola was the governor then. The state government wanted us to leave but Jonathan said no. Fashola thereafter created a relief place at Agbowa Ikosi and asked us to relocate. We sensed a foul play that it was a strategy for us to leave and turned the place to government acquired area like Maroko. Till now, we don’t know how the money was spent.
However, the Edo State government on Tuesday distributed relief materials to flood victims in five local government areas across the state, including Igueben, Egor, Oredo, Ovia South-West, Ikpoba-Okha and Uhunmwonde Local government council areas. Some of the distributed items include 500 bags of rice, 300 bags of beans, 300 bags of garri, 2000 cartoons of noodles, gallons of vegetable oil and palm oil.
Addressing journalists during the distribution of materials to officials of the benefitting local councils in Benin City, the governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Yakubu Gowon, said the gesture was in line with the mandate to ensure that flood victims in the state were given the necessary support to alleviate their plights.
Representative of the chairman of Ikpoba-Okha LGA, Balogban Kingsley, while applauding the governor’s magnanimity, described the distribution of items as timely.