Many homeless as rainstorm destroys 105 buildings in Ekiti
By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
Torrential rain that lasted for two hours on Saturday wreaked havoc in Oke-Ako, Ikole local government area of Ekiti State, destroying no fewer than 105 residential houses.
The downpour, accompanied by a heavy storm, damaged the roofs of several houses, shops, and electric poles, thereby rendering the residents homeless and subjecting the area to total blackout.
Speaking during an on-the-spot assessment of the level of havoc wreaked on the town, the Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs Monisade Afuye, described the occurrence as ‘highly devastating.’
The Deputy Governor was conducted round the affected areas by the Regent of the town, Her Royal Highness Ogunbiyi Tinuade Adebayo, the lawmaker representing Ikole Constituency 2, Hon Adeoye Aribasoye and the Chairman, Ajoni Local Council Development Area, Hon Michael Ogungbemi.
A statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Deputy Governor, Victor Ogunje, on Saturday, quoted the Governor as expressing delight that no life was lost during the stormy rainfall.
“On behalf of his Excellency, Governor Biodun Oyebanji, I sympathise with you on the destruction caused by rainstorm to many residential buildings and electricity poles in this town, which we believe must have affected the wellbeing of the victims.
“Information at our disposal and on- the- spot assessment revealed that roofs of scores of residential buildings and electricity facilities were destroyed during the stormy rainfall, thereby rendering many homeless and helpless.
“We sympathise with the victims at this trying times and plead for calmness, in the sense that natural disaster of this nature is one occurrence that is difficult to control. But with personal precautions and right efforts, its effects can be minimised.
“That was why the Governor Oyebanji’s administration is ready to support interested individuals to go into tree planting and the programmes will soon be rolled out to safeguard our environment and minimise havoc being wreaked on our buildings by rainstorm.
“Tree planting is very essential. I observed that landlords here are not planting trees. I am not seeing them standing beside our houses. Let us inculcate the habit of tree planting to serve as wind breakers against storm.
“Let me also assure you that the state government won’t abandon you and allow you to regret in this current devastating conditions. We shall give all the necessary support to mitigate whatever effect this situation must have caused to your lives”.
The governor, who enlivened the spirits of the affected landlords, said the state government in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA), recently gave palliatives to scores of flood victims to put a soothing balm on their pains.
The governor added; ” I believe that such laudable gestures shall be extended to you in due course. The fact that we are here shows that we care about you. If we don’t like you, we won’t have come. We care about you, we love and we will continue to support you.
“Very soon, the government will despatch the palliatives to the victims. Be peaceful and take steps to install a substantive monarch to fully take charge for this town to witness radical development. You can’t be without an Oba. That is the best way for you to ensure steady development.”
The lawmaker representing the constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon Adeoye Aribasoye, assured that succour will soon come for the victims, describing the present government as merciful and masses-oriented.
Aribasoye appealed to the victims to be peaceful and have fate in the current government, saying help will be offered for them to recover their losses.
The General Manager, Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Jide Borode, said the rainstorm effect could have been minimised, if the landlords have keyed into the tree planting initiative of the state government.