Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has visited Ogun State to access the level of destruction of the flood that occurred in some areas of the capital, Abeokuta, last weekend.
No fewer than 11 lives were lost in the flood while several houses were destroyed, displacing a number of people.
Professor Osinbajo took the condolence messages of the Nigerian Government to the people and government of State, stating that it would improve on the drainage infrastructure in the affected areas.
The Vice President said that government would provide immediate assistance to those affected.
“Of course, we are providing immediate relief materials to support the State Government, the Director General of NEMA is here, providing that immediate succor and assistance,” Professor Osinbajo stated.
He said the Nigerian government was discussing with Governor Ibikunle Amosun to see how the drainage and channelization of the area could be enhanced.
“What has happened here is very unfortunate indeed, because you will see that a lot of work has gone on, a lot of drainages has been done, but the rains appear to have been so heavy and simply overcame the infrastructure that was already in existence,” he explained.
Professor Osinbajo however, called for more citizen awareness to avoid future occurrences.
He said; “It is difficult to avoid flash flooding anywhere. We are fortunate that it didn’t happen late at night, because if it did, and there was a sudden surge of water, it would naturally cause the kind of disaster we have seen. This would happen anywhere…One of the things I’d want to say is that we have to change our habits in terms of blocking drainages. By and large here, if you look at the channels, they are huge. They have done quite a lot in terms of channelization and drainage. But still, where you have a large amount of rain falling within a short period of time, you are likely to have flash flooding.
“What we need to do, especially where the rains are heavy, is to warn people to move quickly to higher grounds, especially those in the valleys. There is nothing you can do about a valley, a valley is a valley, and water would invariably collect there if it’s very heavy rain.
“On the whole, the loss of lives is very unfortunate, and we commiserate as the Nigerian Government. But I also want to say that God had been truly gracious to us. It could have been much worse, but for the large infrastructure here, canalization and drainage, which helped to move the water quickly, the water has practically receded despite the surge,” Professor Osinbajo stated.
The Vice President, who was taken around the affected areas, including Kuto and Isale-Igbein commended the State government for its prompt response to the incident.
Professor Osinbajo was received by the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun on Wednesday.
– Mercy Chukwudiebere I VON