By Olaotan Falade
While many residents are beginning to heave a sigh of relief of the heavy rain which fell continuously for the better part of last week, the case is opposite for residents of Ibeju-Lekki area of the state.
A visit by TheNewsGuru.com team to the area shows a firsthand devastating effect of the heavy downpour on residents and their properties.
One of the visible signs of the aftermath effects of the heavy downpour that greeted the once busy Kolapo and Awoyaya roads in Ibeju-Lekki where TheNewsGuru.com team visited are vehicles that are almost submerged in the ground, roads that have been washed away and long deserted roads which are still completely covered with water.
Commercial activities are at a halt and children cannot afford to go to school since the floods have taken over their learning abode. The few that managed to display their wares for sale were seen sleeping or taking on other forms of activities other than selling and buying. TheNewsGuru.com also learnt that several people have abandoned their homes never to return until things get better.
On sighting TheNewsGuru.com team, the people were relieved as they hope their voices and deplorable situations will finally get to the appropriate authorities for urgent remedial actions.
Speaking with TheNewsGuru.com team in Yoruba Language, a resident who identified herself as Lasisi Idowu, said the area has never been this ravaged by flood. She called on the government to come to their aid before the floods finally sweep away what is left of their lives and properties.
In her words: “The flood is so bad this year. Even our rooms are not spared. We no longer have a place to lay our heads. Governor Ambode and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should come to our aid in Ibeju-Lekki. This suffering is too much and unbearable. Government should not wait till this flood drowns us all before fixing our bad roads and drainage system”.
TheNewsGuru.com reports that the residents have tried putting up a temporary measure to reduce the effect of the flood by making drainages but this has not in any way produced any tangible result because of the incessant heavy downpour.
Another resident who also doubles as a pastor narrated his ugly ordeal. The pastor explained that they were mid-way in a service last Sunday when the rain started. He said the service was brought to an abrupt end to enable members run home and save what is left of their properties. He said the flood was so huge that it swept away most of the instruments used in the church including the pulpit.
“We were in the service when the rain started. The whole place has been flooded before then but we were still able to maneuver our way. However, things took a different shape on this fateful day as waters began flowing in our direction with high currents. We had to end the service for members to rush home and take care of their properties. The flood carted away our pulpit, drums, and other church items. The government should come to our aid. We can’t continue this way. We have been praying since then for the rain to stop and we thank God it did. We don’t know what might happen to us if another rain of this magnitude falls. You can see that most of our household materials are still kept outside to dry,” the pastor said emphatically.
A further visit by TheNewsGuru.com team to Awoyaya Community also in Ibeju-Lekki again revealed how hard the people are trying to cope with the flood.
While the community is basking well in commercial activities, the entire junction leading to the community is however flooded and motorists on the express road and those inbound the community had a hectic time navigating their ways through.
Residents also expressed their displeasure and appealed to the government to remember them in its developmental strides.
“If you people (referring to the TheNewsGuru.com team) had come last Friday, you won’t find a space to place your legs. It was really bad. People learnt to swim by force and transportation cost automatically skyrocketed. The pains we experienced are beyond words and we appeal to the government to help us because nobody knows when this rain will strike again,” a resident told TheNewsGuru.com.
The Baale of the community, Chief Isiaka Taofeeq who gladly welcomed TheNewsGuru.com team to his palace said the heavy downpour affected the community more than it could have affected the island and mainland axis of Lagos. He said residents couldn’t move for days. He appealed to Governor Ambode to remember the community which he said also contributes meaningfully to the development of Lagos.
“You need to see how this place was last week. We have never been this affected by flood. Vehicular activities were suspended as there was no clear way to navigate through. People remained indoors for the better part of the week. We know our amiable governor is trying but we are also part of Lagos and he needs to remember Ibeju-Lekki. The suffering is too much and we don’t know what will happen if there is another downpour. He (Ambode) should please join hands with our local government authority to fix our roads to cushion the effect of this flood.”
TheNewsGuru.com reports that the Federal Government on Wednesday warned state and local government authorities to to sensitize residents in their territory of more heavy downpour and the consequential flood that is likely to come with it.
However, there may be succor coming the way of Ibeju-Lekki and indeed other parts of the state affected by the downpour as the State Assembly (LAHA) summoned the Commissioner of Environment, Mr Babatunde Adejare, to appear before it on Tuesday to proffer long lasting solutions to the flood.
TheNewsGuru.com also reports that the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday approved a N1.5bn bailout fund to some 15 states (Lagos inclusive) of the federation affected by the flood.