The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday visited the flood disaster areas in Abeokuta, the state capital to assess the extent of damage. Heavy rain had last Friday claimed 12 lives and also destroyed property worth millions of naira.
The areas Osinbajo, in company of the governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, visited were Isale-Igbein, Gbangba, Ago-Ijesha, Sokori, Itoku and Ijeja. Some of the victims were still salvaging their property when the Vice President and his entourage came calling.
Osinbajo, who was surprised at the level of damage, pledged the Federal Government’s “immediate” assistance, through provision of relief materials to cushion the effect. He disclosed that the Federal Government was already collaborating with all the states that are facing similar challenges to find a lasting solution.
He explained that from what he saw, it was obvious the situation could have been worse if there were not good channelisation in some of the areas. The Vice President advised residents to avoid things that would result in flooding, such as building on waterways and dumping of refuse in gutters.
He also urged residents in flood-prone areas to always be alert and not to wait until the water level gets to dangerous stage before attempting to move.Answering a reporter’s question on whether the incident could not have been avoided, Osinbajo said: “Let me say that what happened is very unfortunate. Indeed, a lot of drainage have been done but the level of the rain was so heavy that it overtook the infrastructure in place.
“We have to really sit down and look at those challenges properly, we are providing immediate relieve materials to support the state government. We learn that NEMA was here to provide the immediate succour. On a permanent basis, we are planning on how to sit with the state government on how to provide the succour.” “We are fortunate that it didn’t take place at night, because if it did, and there was a sudden surge of water, it would naturally cause a lot of disasters.”