The Ekiti Government has denied reports that five persons drowned in flooding in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Gov. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs Monisade Afuye, denied the reports, on Wednesday, during an assessment of the affected areas in Ado-Ekiti.
The governor regretted the level of havoc wreaked by the flood, and assured that his government would map out life-saving mechanisms to mitigate destruction of property in areas submerged by water.
“Our people should discountenance that rumour that five people died. Nothing of such happened.
“We have it on good authority that those who fell victim were saved by divers. So, our people shouldn’t panic.
“It was to avoid flooding that this government embarked on aggressive dredging of Ureje and Elemi Rivers early this year.
“We also cleared many drains in Ado-Ekiti. If not for that proactive actions, the wreckage could have been worse and more destructive.
“We sympathise with those that were affected by this flooding. My government won’t abandon them.
“We will take quick steps to address all your issues. We will surely come to your aid because the welfare of the people is paramount,” he said.
Oyebanji warned Ekiti residents against unwholesome practices like arbitrary dumping of refuse inside drains and canals and erection of buildings on waterways, describing these as actions that were exacerbating flooding in the state.
Also corroborating the governor’s statement, the diver, who rescued the five victims at Ureje Bridge, Chief Kolawole Falajiki, clarified that the victims were saved while being washed away by water, contrary to reports on social media.
Falajiki, who was among the community leaders in the area that received the entourage, said, “nobody died.
“We ensured that we saved all those that were caught in the web of flooding. Commuters numbering over 800 were trapped here at Ureje bank.
“They were witnesses to my story that nobody died”.
Falajiki alongside spokesmen of Ureje and Eminrin estate: Mr Tayo Olawuyi, Mr Rasheed Akanbi and Mr Shine Salami, applauded the state government for dredging the river earlier in the year.
The community leaders said that the havoc would have been more, if not for the well conceived actions of the government.
“The only way we can overcome this flooding permanently is for the government to blast the rock that is raising the water level inside Ureje river.
“That was why the water was overflowing the high bridge that connects Ado-Ekiti to Afe Babalola University.
“Another way is that they should use concrete to channel the water downslope. These are the permanent solutions to the challenge”, they said.
NAN reports that areas ravaged by flooding after over five hours of torrential downpour includes; Ureje bridge on Polytechnic road, Eminrin Estate, Ilupeju avenue, Elemi, Ita Eku, Basiri, among others in Ado-Ekiti.