Final year student killed in flood
Family of six displaced as rocks crushes building in Ado Ekiti
By Dayo Johnson, Rotimi Ojomoyela & Shina Abubakar
THE torrential rainfall that lasted several hours wreaked havoc in Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states. The flood left in its wake a trail of destruction as a life was lost and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in the three states.
At Ibaka quarters in Akungba, Akoko area of Ondo State, if Doyinsola Motunrayo Boluwaji knew, she would have hung to the cocoa tree like her landlord when the flood submerged their house.
It was indeed a black Monday for the university community as torrential rain, which lasted two days, wreaked havoc in the area.
Three other students of the institution were rescued from being drowned.
Doyinsola, a final year student of Religious Studies at the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, was unlucky as she could not make it to the cocoa tree located few metres away from the building as she was swept away to an unknown destination from a canal close to her house.
She was swept off into the deep canal which flowed to the neighbouring Supare community, about two kilometres from Akungba.
Her landlord, Elemukona Ademola, who narrowly escaped by climbing the cocoa tree confirmed that Doyin was “swept off her balance while trying to escape from the ravaging flood.”
As at Wednesday, no fewer than 15 local divers were hired by the university authorities and the community to search for the corpse of the lady.
An eyewitness account told Vanguard that the flood, that submerged her residence, was about seven feet and that there was no way she could have survived.
The father of the deceased, who rushed to the university after being informed of the incident, kept insisting that it couldn’t have been his daughter until he was led to her residence.
It was there he saw the water level that submerged the building.
AA varsity suspends lectures
Meanwhile, the university has suspended all lectures and tests earlier scheduled to mourn the deceased student.
The spokesperson of the institution, Mr. Victor Akinpelumi, confirmed that the management of the institution has visited the scene.
Akinpelumi said: “The University is leaving no stone unturned in the quest to find the missing student. Divers and other volunteers have been sought to search the path of the river in a bid to find the missing undergraduate.”
Vanguard gathered that properties worth millions of naira were equally destroyed in the town as vehicles, roads, bridges and hotels among other buildings were badly damaged by the flood.
The acting governor of Ondo State, Mr. Agboola Ajayi and the Agriculture Commissioner, Gboyega Adefarati, on a visit to the community, warned against the building of houses on canal.
They appealed to those living close to the canals and rivers to quit during rain.
Government sources hinted that no fewer than 60 houses built on the canal would be demolished to create a passage for the water.
Ondo govt reacts
Reacting, the State Information and Orientation Commissioner, Donald Ojogo, said: “The state government commiserates with the family of the victim and indeed the entire University community for this unfortunate incident that cut short the life of the promising student who was almost through with her studies.
”This is one incident too many because it is painful.
”The Ondo State Government had before now, identified all such flood-prone areas and the Ministry of Environment was on top of the situation before this unfortunate incident.
”That informed the procurement of the multimillion swamp buggy by the state government.
”However, it is apposite to state that some of these incidents of the flood are avoidable. We have always told those concerned that building in areas prone to floods and the blocking of drainage are very potent recipes for flooding. Where possible, people should avoid such.”
Students escape through the roof
Giving details of what happened on Monday, a close friend of the deceased, Miss Adekemi Odunwo, said her friend was swept away by the flood and all attempts to locate her proved abortive.
Odunwo said the students escaped through the roof of their houses when the flood started.
She said Motunrayo slipped off the hands of her friend who wanted to save her and saw her taken away by the flood.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Gbore, described the incident as unfortunate as the lady was in her room when she was swept away by the flood.
Gbore said: “A search team was constituted, yet we have not been able to see the lady. The Director of Works could not find the remains of the lady
“This is a period of trying times for the university. Some students could not access their homes in Akungba-Akoko.
“We demand more accommodation for students in the institution so that we could avoid such an occurrence in the future.”
Many roads in Akokoland, according to findings, had become impassable following erosion.
The roads are Jubilee road, Hospital junction, Bankole road Ilepa Ikare, Okoja Awara road, Irun to Ojeka, Irun to Surulere to Oluta and Okeagbe to Afin to Eshe.
Flood destroys properties, disrupt activities in Osogbo
Similarly, residents in Osogbo in Osun State were thrown into panic as the torrential rainfall that occurred, early hours on Tuesday, cut off many communities from the city centres forcing many parents to keep their children at home away from schools.
Besides, the flood further unleashed hardship on market traders and destroyed livestock reared by fish farmers.
Also, medium and small poultry farmers were not left out as they lost properties worth millions of naira.
Traders at Alekuwodo market lamented over their loss as the flood-damaged goods such as bags of rice, beans, garri and many other perishables.
Residents count losses
A resident of the Mallam Tope area of Oke-Oniti, Habeebulahi Ajani, told Vanguard that the bridge in the area was built recently, making the people believe that they have overcome the problem of the flood, but the torrential rain on Tuesday proved them wrong.
Ajani said: “We were shocked to see an overflow of the newly constructed bridge to the extent that the community was completely cut off from the rest of the city. Many parents cannot bear the risk of allowing their children to go to school. Besides, no one could take the risk of driving through the flood because the water volume was too enormous.”
The flood overflowed the boundary of Opoopo stream at Rasco area at Oke-Fia in Osogbo and flooded into the Akindeko market at Alekuwodo area.
Residents call for govt’s assistance
One Mrs. Anilola, a trader at the flood affected the market, noted that the rumour making round was that a dam was opened at a state close to Osun caused the flood, adding that firefighters had come around to find out if there were any casualties.
Anilola said: “The last time we witnessed such incident was seven years ago and after the market was renovated and the stream’s bank was concretised, there was no such incident until now.
”In the early hours of Tuesday, the water started flowing lightly but suddenly, the volume of water was uncontrollable. We could only salvage little things, while bags of rice and other heavy goods were flooded by the rain.
”It is unfortunate and we appeal to the government to come to our aid and alleviate our loss.”
Other areas affected by the early morning flood include; Awosuru, Ayekale, Biket and Lamenco in the state capital.
According to Israel Gbenga, a resident of Biket Area of the state, the last time such rain started in August, it washed away my fish ponds and that of my brother with over three thousand fishes.
“However, it is very unfortunate that this time again, a friend’s fish pond with another three thousand fishes was affected, though, we were later able to salvage few fishes and managed to rebuild the pond.”
Another resident of the area, Niyi Ajani, whose residence was flooded, called on the appropriate government agency to help the community from incessant horrible flood experience.
Osun govt moves to avert future occurrence
Meanwhile, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, during an on-the-spot assessment to the affected areas, directed the Ministry of Works to move in immediately, to ensure measures are taken to avert future occurrence.
The governor also admonished the occupants of buildings located on waterways and canals in the state to relocate temporarily.
While addressing the residents, the governor attributed the cause of the flood disaster to the heavy rain and sympathised with the victims.
Oyetola said: “I decided to come around to assess the collapsed canal that caused the flooding.
”With what we have seen, the dam has to be properly looked into. We will do the needful to ensure safety by involving the officials of the Ministry of Works and Water Corporation.
”We shall do everything to forestall future occurrence. I will implore people around the canal to evacuate and stay temporarily elsewhere to avoid any disaster. The government will do everything to help them.”
Family of six displaced in Ado Ekiti.
In Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, the heavy downpour of Tuesday may have subsided but the pains and agony it brought to the family of Mr. Egbeola Oludotun are yet to subside as the family continues to count their losses after a giant rock razed his four-bedroom apartment in Odo Ado area of Ado Ekiti.
The incident was reported to have occurred when a giant rock behind the building collapsed during Tuesday’s rain that lasted almost the whole day.
Though no life was lost properties worth millions of naira, belonging to the aged motorcycle repairer, were destroyed.
When Vanguard visited the scene, it was like a Mecca of a sort as sympathizers from far and near trooped to the place to console the family.
Many of his household properties were buried under the rubble while only a few clothes, cooking utensils were salvage by neighbors.
Narrating his ordeal, Mr. Egbeola said the incident happened a few minutes after taking his breakfast alongside his wife in the living room.
His last son was said to have been sent an errand around this time.
He said: “I just finished having my breakfast with my wife around 10 am. I was yet to take the usual relaxation when I heard a very loud bang at the backyard. I had thought it was a thunderstorm or another noise from the neighborhood. Before I know what was happening, I saw broken rocks flying to our direction, I quickly grabbed my wife and we took to our heels and escaped by a whisker.”
“We came back few minutes after only to see that my building and other valuables in the house have been destroyed beyond repair while others were buried in the rubbles”, he said.
The 68-year-old motorcycle mechanic called on the Ekiti State government and other relevant agencies to come to his rescue.
In his appeal, he said: “I’m an old motorcycle repairer in my late sixties. I have six children to cater for and two are in the university. This incident has further compounded my problems and I can’t do it alone. I beg the government and other well-meaning people within and outside the state to come to my aid.”
Grammar School fence pulled down
Meanwhile, the rain also extended its damage to Ureje streets in Ado Ekiti as part of the perimeter fencing of Ado Grammar School pulled down by the raging flood.
A block industry situated at the foot of Ureje bridge belonging to a yet to be identified person was washed off by the flood.
When Vanguard visited the site, culverts, sharp sand and granite were washed away.
Students, staff groan over failed bridge
Students and staff of Afe Babalola University and Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti were at the receiving end as motorcyclists now charge exorbitant fees to convey passengers across the failed Ureje Bridge.
A portion of the bridge was washed off last week during a heavy rainfall killing a commercial motorcyclist.
When Vanguard visited the area, palliative work has commenced on the bridge.
But the heavy rain further deteriorated the bridge making motorists charge students huge amount of money.
It was alleged that some road users slept along the road on Tuesday because the bridge was completely covered by the flood while others took alternative routes.
Heavy traffic was seen on the busy road as motorists and other road users struggle for space on the deplorable road.
Commercial motorcyclists were having a field day as students and members of staff pay through their nose to get to the place of lecture room and place of work on time.