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Victims count losses as flood wreaks havoc in Osogbo

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It was a devastating moment for residents of Osogbo, the capital of Osun, yesterday, as a four-hour torrential rainfall caused flooding which destroyed houses.

An eyewitness said the flood destroyed property worth millions of naira, including public utilities. One of the affected places was the Osun State Government House in Oke-fia area of Osogbo as the flood collapsed the perimetre fence at the entrance of the building that houses Governor Gboyega Oyetola.

It was gathered that the downpour started about 8:00p.m. and lasted till 11:00p.m. Mostly affected were flood-prone areas like Oke-Baale, Alekuwodo, Onireke, Obate, Awosuru, Sadiat, Testing Ground and Atimowa.

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Also, affected were residential houses, churches, cement and flour shops, pharmacies, gas stations, bakeries, boutiques and provision stores.

When The Guardian visited the affected areas, victims were seen sun-drying their soaked properties, while others battled to salvage what remained of their property.

The state government was also making efforts to reconstruct the collapsed fence as some bricklayers and other building artisans were sighted at Government House, which was covered with a blue-coloured leather while repair went on.

At Awosuru area the flood, also damaged a bridge and washed away some parts of residential buildings. Officials of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) drafted to the area, had a hectic day controlling traffic as the incident compounded traffic snarl being witnessed in Osogbo since the commencement of the flyover project at Olaiya.

Meanwhile, some of the affected business persons at Oke-Baale area, who spoke with The Guardian, blamed Osun State Government for their misfortune.

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They claimed the government failed to construct a bigger bridge at Oke-Baale and whenever it rained, the bridge could not contain the flood. They appealed for government’s interventions on their damaged wares.

“We have really lost a lot due to the flood, we plead with the government to come to our aid,” Mr. Musba Adegbola, a resident said

A shop owner at Onireke area, Mr. Ishola Mutiu, said the flood would have swept people away while trying to salvage their goods.
Mutiu, who sells electronic, said: “I was in my shop when the rain started but I didn’t know it was going to be like this. The flood took over everywhere, it was God’s intervention that saved all of us here, we would have been submerged,” he said.

While estimating his loss, Mutiu said items destroyed in his shop were worth around N5 million. Residents of the area said they could not sleep in their various houses as they ran for safety on Tuesday night.

A cement seller at the Obate area, Alhaji Agboola Owoniyi. said the rain was too heavy, hence they could not take anything from the shop.

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Another businesswoman, who sells bags of rice and groundnut oil, Ogunyemi Jumoke , was in tears as she could not estimate her loss at the moment.

Meanwhile, the State Government, has called for calm, assuring victims of its response where necessary. A statement signed by Funke Egbemode, Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation in the state on Wednesday, said government had activated its emergency response system, comprising stakeholders in disaster management, which include environmental management officers, health workers and security agencies, to respond efficiently to the incident where necessary.

But the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Osun State, has expressed concern over what ‘ it termed increasing deterioration of the state public infrastructures and notable assets.

The party, in a statement signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Ayodeji Areola, blamed the administration of Governor Oyetola for the disaster, asking him to throw in the towel for alleged lack of capacity to manage the state.

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