Five days to the 31st anniversary rain wreaked havoc on Ibadan, residents of the Oyo State capital were again left to mourn following a downpour that lasted about six hours that Friday.
Ibadan was ravaged on a Sunday, August 31, 1980, with many lives and property lost to the rain.
This year’s Friday re-enactment of the rain of rage and flood of tears came barely four weeks after the town was flooded in a similar manner, prompting government officials to start clearing most drainages that had been choked up with rubbish.
Although, the downpour affected virtually every area of Ibadan, some areas experienced it worst. The downpour resulted in serious traffic gridlocks and commuters were stranded on their way home.
Many eventually slept in their work places, hotels and accessible places of friends.
The flood was so bad that even some motorists abandoned their vehicles on the road, either as a result of mechanical faults or out of fear of being washed away by the flood and according to another report, the dead victims included four children of the same father and their grandfather, another set of children and about five grown-ups.
A man trying to run from his apartment through the ceiling was struck to death. Ibadan and in other parts of the town, no fewer than 15 people, mostly children, lost their lives to the downpour.
It was indeed a gory sight and tale of sorrow and tears as many people could be seen swimming round dead bodies of children and grown up victims of the flood.
The questions on every good Nigerian lips are: Why should we dump refuse in the gutters instead of the places provided? Why do we build our properties on channels meant for water or on the road?
Why should anyone throw refuse into the carnal? Why should any reasonable person choose to throw his refuse in the rain? What is the government doing about enlightening its people concerning the dangers of illegal building?
In my candid opinion, what happened in Ibadan is not caused by any witch craft or incantation. For we all know, there is no smoke without fire. Perhaps, if the the gutters were open, the water may have passed on.
This should also serve as a warning and lesson to other towns and states that think it can only happen to the people of Ibadan.
Those of us who build illegal structures, who dump refuses in gutters and the canals, who only throw their refuse anytime it rains, who fling out pure water bags and plastic bottles from moving vehicles, be forewarned is to be forearmed. When the ear doesn’t listen, the head gets cut out with it.