By HUGO Odiogor
Residents of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and other highbrow areas of Lagos joined their counterparts in Ajegunle, Ikotun and other mass demographic areas to recount their experiences of Sunday and Monday torrential down pour which left the rich and the poor crying over their loses as global climate change unleash its fury.
It was tale of woes for the highnet worth individuals in Burdillon, Oyekan Abayomi, Adeyemo Alakija, Ahmadu Bello Way whose homes and offices were taken over by the flood which hip high in some cases. Sources said the homes of the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Olorugun Michael Ibru, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, the French Ambassador, the Chief of Naval Staff and other houses along Oyekan Abayomi Drive experienced the flood.
Some of the affected rich men would not speak to the media on their ordeal but an aide to the British envoy who spoke to Vanguard in confidence said: “The climate change phenomenon is not new to Nigeria and indeed Lagos. Remember that Melbourne and other Australian cities were flooded at the beginning of the year, Japan suffered Tsunami and other form of natural disasters including earthquakes. What is important is for government to take climate change phenomenon into its national planning agenda, especially in their urban planning and development.”
Computer giant, Mr. Stan Leo Ekeh, said “my compound was flooded just like the other surrounding buildings. However, the flood did not entered the houses.” He said what happened is the “erection of new buildings, the drainage becomes smaller to contain water when it rains. So everybody is in this mess. Unless the Lagos State government acts fast now, we may experience what happened in China. The flood issue started like the Lagos flood.”
Houses and vehicles were submerged in the flood while some car owners had to park their cars that were taken over by the flood and used motor bikes to their destinations. Dr. Paul Oboh who has an office at Adeyemo Alakija said his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) was skidded of the road as he tried to wade through the flood from the Adeola Odeku end of the road.
Those who had social visit to the home of computer chieftain, Mazi Leo Stan Ekeh said his compound was also taken over by flood, but details of the damage done was not as substantial as in the areas with high demographic concentrations, where collapsed buildings caused casualties.
Commercial buses substantially withdrew their services owing to their bad tyres and unreliable brakes as well as avoiding skidding into ditches. Some vehicle owners ran into ditches which others had to contend with potholes and craters of the roads.
Some Lagosians who heard that the flood attacked the house of the former governor simply said: “Yes, the rich also cry” as the Lagos State government has failed to devise a sustainable plan to deflood the city.
Residents of Ago, Okota, Amuwo Odofin which are emerging high brow areas of Lagos were not spared. Mr. Austin Ilozumba, who is a property developer in Ago, said “we are cut off from both ends of the Ago Palace Way and you can see, the number of vehicles that were thrown into the gutter or those that were trapped by potholes in the deluge.
“It is a shame even if the government sort the problem of the bad roads, we have problems with the flood which is caused by natural happenstance, which is aggravated by human activities. For the last three years, there has been global increase in rainfall and water level,” he said.