Five Dead As Building Of Flood Victims Collapses In Kogi

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From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja

Five persons were reported dead when a storey building at Ayah town in Ibaji local government area of Kogi state collapsed and left some unconscious with severe injuries.

The building which was said to belong to one Sunday Ineke Inajor collapsed on Wednesday due to the flooding of houses in the affected Ibaji communities.

A reliable source said, the building  which top floor was occupied by many natives of Ayah who are flood victims collapsed Wednesday night leaving heavy casualties.

It was gathered that many residents who could not be evacuated from danger surged to few storey buildings available in their areas have remained amidst severe hunger since the past one month the disaster has lasted.

“A house collapsed at Ayah community, five people died instantly, many are unconscious while many were injured,” a native of Ibaji, Mr. Saturday Aromeh, raised the alarm on Thursday.

It was gathered that the injured persons are still within the scene of the incident as the flood could not allow their evacuation to the hospital in Idah for medical attention.

Both government and relief agencies have not shown up in Ibaji since the flood disaster commenced over a month ago despite several alarm raised by different socio-cultural groups, NGO and individuals.

Despite several efforts to draw the attention of the government to the plights of the victims who were in dire need of evacuation, medication, food and provision of Internally Displaced Persons, IDP Camps by Ibaji Development Association failed.

Some leaders and politicians from the local government who reacted to the Wednesday incident that claimed five lives under the condition of anonymity, lambasted government for refusing to intervene and rescue the flood victims who had been trapped in their communities under dangerous conditions for several weeks.

“It is surprising that our appeals to various levels of government had fallen on deaf ears while the people affected by the flood have been passing through hell and now to the extent of dying due to negligence of the agencies responsible for evacuating them,” our sources revealed.

The Ibaji Unity Forum, an umbrella socio-cultural group for Ibaji indigenes had sent a save-our-soul letters to government and the National Emergency Relief Agency, NEMA to provide relief assistance to the flood victims but there has not been any official response even when relief materials are being distributed to victims in the state.

In one of the letters to the Director General of NEMA a copy of which was obtained, says “we write to solicit urgent support, intervention, relief materials and palliatives for the people of Ibaji whose entire land area is submerged by this year’s (2022) flood.”

“The people of Ibaji LGA with a population of over 197,000, according to 2006 Population Census are urgently in need of the following: Medicals and drugs, food, clothes and temporary shelter (IDP camps) etc.”

The SOS signed by one Barrister Stephen Ucholla and Engr. Henry Akoje, President and Secretary of the organization respectively, also made a passionate appealed to the state Governor, Yahaya Bello to pay a visit to the flood ravaged communities in Ibaji.

The visit according to the letter was enable him  evaluates the monumental damages done to lives and property with a view to providing relief assistance to the affected people but to no avail.

However, investigations reveal that more troubles are in the offing as  many inhabitants of Ibaji communities could be homeless and prone to hunger as many buildings have been destroyed, roads cut off while their farms and unharvested crops before the incident occurred had been completely destroyed.

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