By Bose Adebayo
He left for his place of work that Monday but came back some hours later having received a distress call from his neighbour. But what greeted his eyes on getting home shocked him out of his wits. He could barely believe his eyes when he saw that his electronics, credentials, shoes, clothes, furniture and other valuable items have been submerged in water.Â And before he knew it his eyes filled with tears.
Donald Nnamnso, 26, became the proud tenant of his two-room apartment in Omobola Street, Itire, Surulere two months after securing employment in a bank located at Apapa.Â Â Apart from now being in a positionÂ to be able to put smiles on the faces of his aged mother and siblings in the village, he considered acquiring accommodation soon after securing employment as one of his most important achievements.
However, within a twinkling of an eye, everything this gentleman had laboured for was washed away in the aftermath of the two-hour rain of last Monday. All efforts of his neighbours to salvage the situation proved abortive.
As at eight o clock in the morning, he was sitting comfortably in his office sipping from a cup of tea when he received the phone call that disorganised his activities for the day. â€œHello, is that Donald ? I donâ€™t know how to tell you this O, you need to come home right now and see things to yourself,â€ a neighbour told him on phone.
Immediately, he threw his cup of tea away and took a bike to his residence. â€œWhen I got home, I could not believe my eyes, especially when I saw all I have laboured for in the past eight years, swimming inside the flood. I donâ€™t think I can go to work throughout this week because all my clothes are gone. I wept when Isaw my shoes, my certificate and other valuable items floating in the flood,â€ he told Vanguard Metro.
Recounting his ordeal, he said: â€œSince my eight years in this place, I have never experienced this type of thing. I left home around six in the morning and the phone call came around nine and I have been devastated since then. All my things were damaged, they have to break my room; unfortunately it was too lateâ€.
For the past week, the Lagos State government has embarked on the rehabilitation of some roads in this area, part of which was to construct a drainage system in some streets. As a result, a lot of buildings were flooded when the rain started on Monday.
Nnamnso was not the only one that suffered the rain flood, three septuagenarians, Mrs Abiola Itanola, Rebecca Oshinga, Pa Wahab Apata and other residents of this street also had a bitter story to tell about their own experience.
As at the time Vanguard Metro visited the street, some buildings have collpased, some of the residents were scooping water from their rooms while their neighbours from other streets also joined to retrieve personal effects from the flood. Shop owners could not open their shops as most of the equipment have been submerged. Many of them claimed that was the first time such a thing would happen since they became residents of that street.
Many of the residents who spoke with this reporter said the flood was as a result of the on-going road rehabilitation. â€œIn as much as we commend the state governmentâ€™s effort to provide good roads for our community, they need to hasten work on the project because that is the cause of this problem. We have never experienced flood in the area;Â you can see me, an old man with grey hairs, scooping water out of my house,â€ said one septuagenarian.
â€œFashola should tell the contractors to hasten the job; we are in a mess, the buildings are falling down. We donâ€™t know what will happen next if we enter the rainy season proper. If urgent measures are not taken, it might warrant many of us packing back to our various villages,â€ said a victim, Josephine Ifedi.
Sixty-five year-old Mrs Rebecca Oshinga who left home for early morning devotion in her church also received a call and came home to see the frontage of her house had given way. All the rooms in her house did not escape the flood. The only relief for herÂ was that her tenants assisted in saving her furniture and other items by hanging them on some upright support beams.
â€œI have been living in the street since 1966 and this type of thing has never happened.Â The youths among us can still struggle to rescue themselves but how do people like us cope and where do we go from here ?â€ she lamented.
Vanguard Metro also visited the construction companyÂ and an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said: â€œSuch a thing is bound to happen; itÂ is a three-month project, meant for the betterment of the residents. In as much as we sympathise with them, they need to bear in mind that this type of thing cannot but go with some inconveniences here and there. They will smile at the end of the dayâ€.
Fashola makes case for Oshodi-Apapa roadÂ reconstruction
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has stressed the need for an extra_ordinary supplementary budget for the reconstruction of the Apapa_Oshodi Expressway, saying the importance of the road to the economy of Nigeria cannot be over_emphasised.
Fashola made the call at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja while receiving the Minister of Works, Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Hassan Mohammed Lawal. He said the quick intervention of the Federal Government on the road has become most expedient, especially now that the end of the year is approaching when massive importation of goods is expected.
According to him: â€œIt is of urgent national interest to begin to stabilise the road before the beginning of the last quarter of the year otherwise, we will have serious social and economic crises if people cannot move their goods out of the ports for Christmas..
â€œIn deciding the cost of this kind of investment, I think we must begin to look at the wider picture. The question of whether or not there is a budget at this time of the year for roads like the Apapa â€“ Oshodi Expressway should not even be a consideration.
It is a matter of national interest that can justify an emergency supplementary Appropriation by the National Assembly whenever it is taken to themâ€, the Governor said.â€œI could not over_emphasize the importance of that road to the economy of Nigeria.
Not only do we now have congestion at the ports, but what is brought in cannot be taken out because of bad road network. If you have a combination of land transportation failure and sea transportation failure, I think it creates very grave danger for the economyâ€.
PMPN-AFRICA holds prayer congress for the nation
The 12th All African Congress on Spiritual Warfare Strategic Praying and Discipleship of Pastors/Ministers Prayer Network Africa has been scheduled to kick off on July 12 through July 18, 2009 and will take place at the Redemption Camp.
The theme of this yearâ€™s prayer convention, â€œBehold I set you overâ€, according to the National Coordinator,Â Uchegbulam Victor, is targeted towards praying for the country, especially the Niger Delta where kidnaping is the order of the day.
â€œThe burden is to call our attention to the strategic position and authority God has given us over his Church, especially in these last days when the Church has continued to grow insignificantly in our various nations,â€ he said as he lamented the negligence on the part of the leaders which has allowed enemies toÂ take over their territories unknowingly.
According to him, the convention is about repositioning the country, especially at this time when things are going wrong in the country.
His words: â€œThere is a kingdom and a nation which God has set you to occupy for His name sake. The understanding of the very fact that God has left the management of the earth in the hands of the Church must be clear not only to the leaders of the church but to every one in generalâ€.