- Sweeps away unspecified number of residents, renders many homeless
At first it was dropping, then it drizzled and afterwards it came down in torrents. The downpour became heavier and within a short time, everywhere came under flood, dragging along in its fury an avalanche of property, including cars and houses.
Goods worth millions of Naira were also destroyed by the flood, which forced its way into several shops in the affected areas.
Even human lives were not spared as yet-to-be ascertained number of residents were swept away to unknown destination and untimely death under the deluge of the furious flood.
It was as if God had broken His Biblical promise that He made to Noah and those who escaped destruction in his ark, that He would no longer destroy the world with flood.
For residents of Oke Oniti, Testing Ground, Rasco and Obate communities in Osogbo and Olorunda local government areas of Osun State, what should have been showers of blessing has turned out to be a curse. The rain that should humidify the air and replenish their water table has turned against them and wreaked catastrophic havoc and destruction.
They are now worried about the situation they have found themselves.
Residents of these communities were on Tuesday evening thrown into agony as their homes, cars and other property worth millions of Naira were destroyed by the flood which sacked the communities.
The flood, occasioned by the heavy downpour, was said to have also swept away some residents while rendering scores homeless after their abodes were submerged and their belongings flushed away.
At the Oke Oniti area of Osogbo, the residents were said to have been submerged by the flood while in their homes. Others, who took refuge in their cars, were not lucky as the vehicles were completely covered in the flood.
Efforts to rescue the victims were abortive as it rained till dusk in the community.
A resident of the area, who was just returning from work, Adeola Ibitayo, said the flood prevented her from gaining entry to her house.
According to her, people had to take the risk of searching for their missing relatives as the flood kept claiming buildings in the area.
Even motorists, motorcyclists and other road users were stranded as passable roads in the communities were flooded while some bad roads were washed away.
Checks by our correspondent in the other affected areas revealed that buildings and properties in such areas were also submerged.
At Obate area along Oke Baale community, homes and shops were submerged by the flood with the hapless residents lamenting what had befallen them.
A Golf-2 car belonging to a newspaper agent, simply identified as Ilelabo, was carried away by the flood while the victim wailed. Although no life was claimed by the flood in these areas unlike Oke Oniti, the unfortunate flood almost swept away a hawker at Rasco area but for the quick intervention of some men in the area, who rescued the boy.
Meanwhile, members of these communities have made passionate appeal to Governor Rauf Aregbesola to rescue them from the tragedy. Specifically, the affected residents begged Aregbesola to provide temporary homes for them to live.
Speaking with our correspondent, one of the residents, Mr. Bukola Oyelami, described the flood as unfortunate, saying it happened at a time the victims, like other Nigerians, were facing economic hardship. He said that the government that used to dredge bridges in the area had, for some time, abandoned this responsibility, stressing that this contributed to the flood.
According to Oyelami, “This ugly incident is unfortunate and it should not have happened at this time we are in recession. I even thank God that the flood did not claim life in this our area. I urge Governor Aregbesola to come to the aid of the affected people.”
Also speaking, a resident of Obate community, Alhaji Gbadegesin, said members of the community were thrown in a shock when they discovered that their homes and other properties had been submerged by the flood. He, however, called on the state government to come to the aid of the people in the area, adding that it should also consider dredging the waterways urgently to prevent future occurrence.
Meanwhile, the lifeless body of a man, identified as Elder Olabode was on Wednesday recovered at the bank of River Okooko in Oke Oniti area of Osogbo, about 24 hours after flood swept him away.
The remains of the 6o-year-old Olabode was recovered by a team of search party after the flood subsided on Wednesday morning.
The victim’s remains were later deposited at the morgue of the State Hospital in Asubiaro, Osogbo, amid wailing by relatives and residents of the area.
Eyewitnesses’ accounts revealed that the late Olabode was on his way home when he ran into the flood.
Our correspondent gathered that Olabode was warned not to dare the flood by attempting to drive through the water but he did not heed the caution.
Speaking with our correspondent, an eyewitness, Philip Adeagbo explained that, “The man (Olabode) was warned not to drive through the flood but he refused. I was there and we all warned him to go back but he didn’t listen.After moving for few minutes, the intensity of the flood forced open the booth of his car and the flood swept him away alongside his vehicle.
“Two men standing nearby made attempt to rescue him but they could not. One of the men nearly got drowned in the process of trying to salvage the man but he was lucky.”
Meanwhile, the State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ayodele Philips, has paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.
The civil defence chief then advised residents to avoid flood prone areas during this rainy season.