By LEKE ADESERI, South West Regional Editor with agency reports
THE General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Femi Osanyintolu, after the early morning ocean surge on Saturday that sacked communities around Kuramo Beach in Lagos, leaving several persons dead and others missing, said the surge is a problem of communities around beach fronts which had wreaked havoc severally in the past.
He also ordered residents living or doing business around other beach fronts in the state to leave immediately. To buttress the point, the State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Segun Oniru, also ordered the immediate evacuation of the state’s waterfront communities saying the move was necessary to avert disaster at the waterfronts.
Osanyintolu identified places from which residents are expected to move as Badagry and Ojo Waterfront areas, Bar Beach, Kuramo Beach, Goshen Estate, Maiyegun and Alpha Beach.
Hundreds at Badagry, Bar beaches
However in defiance of this order, hundreds of fun seekers again thronged the troubled Lagos Bar beach and other beaches in Badagry area to celebrate the Eid-el-Fitr holidays that marked the end of 30 days of fasting by Muslims.
According to reports, the major beaches visited by the fun seekers in Badagry area were Sapo, Aivoji and Suntan. Some fun seekers engaged in swimming, photography, horse riding, musical performances and games, such as billiard and snooker.
Miss Folake Mohammed, a beach visitor, told NAN that she enjoyed herself, stressing: “Coming here to relax and receive cool breeze means a lot to me. Having a place like this around Badagry without going through the expenses of travelling abroad is interesting to me.” Mohammed said that she came from Okokomaiko in Lagos and wishing that events, such as the festival, happened regularly.
Mr Soji Mohammed, a trader, said that leaving all merchandising activities to engage in relaxation was something good for him. He said: “Everyday I move around trying to make money but today I depart from the tradition to spend part of that money through relaxing and enjoying myself.”
Soji Momodu, a civil servant, said it was nice leaving the pressure of everyday work to catch fun at Badagry beach where a lot was happening, noting: “As you can see, I look refreshed here now, having engaged myself in activities different from what I do everyday. Here at Sapo beach, there is no dull moment.”
He promised to continue the relaxation throughout the holiday, saying, “by the time I return to work on Wednesday my productivity will be better enhanced.”
There are reports that beer sellers, photographers, food vendors, horse riding operators enjoyed increased patronage.
Also, the Marketing Department, Badagry West Local Council Development Authority, the owner of Suntan beach, was busy attending to visitors and made money from gate fees and car parking charges. At Aivoji beach, some worshipers conducted church services.