12 persons feared dead in Ogun flood

A mother and two of her sons were among over 12 persons feared dead at the weekend in a ravaging flood that hit Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital and its environs after a torrential rain.

Mrs. Alirah Akintobi and her two sons Shuaib and Abideen were confirmed dead at Ilawo area of Abeokuta.

The kiosk where Mrs. Akintobi had her petty store was swept away on Friday evening by the rampaging flood.

Eyewitnesses said while trying to escape, she fell and got drowned along with the two boys in the flood that reached lintel level of houses in some affected areas.

Their remains were buried yesterday morning amid tears by residents of Ilawo neighborhood, it was learnt, when our correspondent visited.

Scores of residents were sacked from their homes and shops in many locations in Abeokuta and its environs with apartments either submerged or brought down by the flood.

Areas most hard hit are Ijaye, Amolasho, Kuto, Isale Egbein, Olomore, Leme and Adigbe among others.

Household items, goods and other valuables were destroyed. Our correspondent sighted many families in Ijeja, Ijaiye, Gbangban, Amolasho, Kuto and Olomore still battling to salvage remnants of their properties.

In Ago Ijesha area, residents said a mother and her toddler, girl, were swept away by the flood.

The remains of the daughter were picked up yesterday morning at the edge of a canal, which coursed through many communities and two local government areas before opening into the Odo Ogun (Ogun River).

The search for the mother is ongoing, our correspondent was told.

A source in Ijeja area where the flood damaged the bridge linking it with other parts of the state capital, said families of missing persons were sighted following the canal path and searching for their beloved ones suspected to have been washed away in the flood.

In Amolasho and Kuto, major commercial areas of Abeokuta, goods and structures worth tens of millions of naira were swept away and emptied into a canal by the Isabo state High court area where the flood was fiercest.

35- year- old Ms Somuyiwa Farida, proprietress of Bisola Stores had her stores and warehouse of assorted goods and beverages ruined by the ravaging flood.

Farida said preliminary checks have revealed she has lost over N5m worth of goods, lamenting the latest incident is about the fourth time her goods had gone down the drain following Amolasho almost perennial flooding.

Our correspondent sighted some youths battling to dig up one Toyota car buried near the Holy Cross Hospital, Ijaye Abeokuta, by the devastating flood.

The Archdiocesan Headquarters of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) Ijaye, Abeokuta was also severely hit with about a dozen vehicles submerged along with worship and musical equipment.

The flood also flattened parts of the church’s perimeter fence.

Residential buildings and shops numbering 15 within the area were affected as some of the structures collapsed, tilted or got weakened, making them unsafe for habitation.

The rain, which started around 4:30pm on Friday, caught Abeokuta residents unawares.

Thousands were also locked down for hours following the massive flood that took over all access roads.

Chairman Red Cross Society of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, Prince Obalanlege Joseph, described the flood as “devastating with many losses of lives.”

Obalanlege said feelers from the Emergency First Aid Team (EFAT) unit of the Red Cross hinted about eight people have died in the flood with their remains deposited at the morgue of the state hospital, Ijaiye.

Ogun Commissioner of Police Ahmed Iliyasu told our correspondent he was on the field to assess the situation, identify with people and share in the feelings but declined to give casualty figure.

Commissioner for Works, Olamilekan Adegbite and officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were also sighted assessing devastation of private and public properties.

The Assistant Chief Planning Officer, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Southwest, Babatunde Olowookere, said the agency got information about the flood at about 2am yesterday.

He said the agency’s officials were on ground to assess the situation and render assistance.

Commissioner for Environment, Bolaji Oyeleye, blamed the flood in parts on indiscriminate dumping of refuse on waterways and building of structures on canals by residents.

He advised people to henceforth, desist from obstructing water course with refuse or erecting structures on them.

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