Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday assured of federal government’s assistance to victims of flood disaster which happened last Friday in Ogun state in which many lives were lost and properties worth several millions of Naira destroyed.
Osinbajo, who made an on-the-spot assessment of the disaster scenes in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital assured that the federal government would sit down with the Ogun state government to plan on how to provide succour to the affected families and a permanent solution to the flooding challenges in the state.
The Vice President, whose chopper taxied at the Arcade ground of Ogun state secretariat complex around 4: 32pm, hurriedly went on the assessment tour of the affected areas in company of the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Some of the places which the VP visited included: Isale-Igbehin, Ijeun Titun, Ago-Ijesa, Itoku Market and Isale-Igbehin where the flooding wrecked havocs.
No fewer than five persons were however, confirmed dead, while property worth millions of naira were also destroyed during the downpour which lasted for over three hours.
The flooding also caused river channels in the capital city to overflow their banks, which led to loss of the lives and sweeping away of several vehicles.
Speaking with journalists at one of the affected areas in the popular Itoku Market, the Vice President enjoined residents of the state, particularly the affected families to be grateful to God that the flood disaster occurred during day time which enabled many families the opportunities to escape.
He also expressed satisfaction at the levels of the drainages, channelization and lots of infrastructure put in place by the state government which he said assisted at mitigating what would have been the grave consequences of the flooding.
“What has happened here is very unfortunate indeed. A lot of drainages have been done, but the level of the rain has been so heavy that it has overtaken the infrastructure put in place.
“So what’s are looking at is how these can be enhanced and we are also discussing with his Excellency on how the FG can be of assistance. We have to really seat down and look at those challenges properly”.
The Vice President however, assured that the federal would provide immediate relief materials to support the state government.
Commenting on how to avoid the future occurrence of the disaster, the Vice president declared that government may have to relocate people whose houses are located within the valleys to a higher ground.
Osinbajo also advocated for a change of attitudes among residents such that would make them stop blocking the drainages.
“This is unavoidable. Flash flooding where you have rains for hours, especially rains in the tropic in the type of the place we are, it is difficult to avoid flash flooding. We are Fortunate it didn’t take place at night, if it did and there was a sudden surge of water, it will naturally cause a lot of disaster.
“One of the things that we have to do as a people is that we have to change our attitudes of blocking the drainages. Where you have much rains fallen within short hours, you’re likely to have this type of situation despite the channelization.
“What we might have to do if we have this type of heavy rains, those living in the valley would have to move quickly to the higher ground because there is nothing we can do about a valley. A valley is a valley.
“The federal government commiserate with the families of the victims and the state government. And I want to say that God has been gracious to us because it could have been worse but for the drainages and the channelization and a lot of infrastructure here which have all helped to move the water. As you can see, it has been decapitated despite the huge surge in the flood”.
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