Flood sacks Ogun residents from homes amid cries for govt action

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Residents of Oke-Afa community, in the Magboro area of Ogun State, have expressed frustration after deserting their houses due to flood.

Angry residents threatened not to vote again as campaign promises to fix the problem were never fulfilled.

A mother of three, who identified herself only as Ifeoma, said her family moved out of their house after a snake came in with the flood.

She said, “We were standing on the bed in the children’s room because of the flood when my son screamed out in fear. I asked what the problem was, but he was too shocked to answer; he pointed at a corner of the room and there I saw a big, black snake. My husband was not around, so it was our neighbours who entered the water and killed the snake. It was that day I packed a few things and went to my sister’s place.”

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The Assistant Secretary-General of the community development committee, Mr Blessing Okonkwo, who spoke on behalf of the Chairman, Sunday Shobowale, said efforts to involve the government in the situation had been abortive.

READ ALSO: Lagos flood claimed 7 lives – NEMA

“We’ve been trying to involve government before now, even the previous administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun. I remember then that we wrote to him and the Ministry of Environment. When the state finally released a swamp boogie, the community was responsible for conveying it down; we paid N500,000 and we spent N75,000 daily to fuel it and paid the operator. We did that for 21 days after which the flooding abated. That was around 2017.

“But the situation kept recurring. When the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway started, we discovered that the water from the highway was channelled this way, which increased our challenge.

“In 2019, we did a letter to the current governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and we reminded him of his campaign promises to fix the issue. We handed a letter directly to him during his campaign and immediately after the campaign when we had this issue, we wrote to him and in a subtle way reminded him of his promises, but nothing was done.

“We made efforts to bring a swamp boogie through the help of a member of the House of Assembly representing Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Kayode Damilola Soneye. He helped in bringing the machine and we paid again. We did it and there was respite and then we continued to follow up with the Federal Ministry of Works. They came, did three curvet, but they stopped due to the directive of the Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola, that all works should be suspended and they should face the expressway project. Since 2020, nothing has been done.”

The Vice Chairman of Ilupeju Estate, Prince MA Obasi, said he spent a lot on palliative to help members of his community, lamenting that government had done nothing to address the situation.