Rainstorm of tears, sorrow and pains
From Jimoh Ahmed, Ikare
Like an hurricane, the rainstorm that ravaged some Akoko communities in the last few days has no doubt brought an untold hardship on the victims.
First it all began as a soothing balm when the rain, started after a long absence and expectations by the people with the gathering of the cloud in the sky.
The people were shouting and singing joyous songs, at least the heat which had become unbearable would subside and they were looking up to a joyful night.
Alas! This was not to be as their joy soon turned to sadness. The moment changed, the atmosphere became charged. Heavy wind took over from the rain and it became a hostile visitor. In a jiffy, the people could no longer believe what was staring them in the face.
The rainstorm had turned to a scary monster as it loomed helplessly as they could see, in their imagination, the monster standing right there, a giant faceless being, with its strong hands, removing rooftops and all what stood in its path.
Before they knew it, the rooftops of many houses were gone, corrugated iron sheets were flying everywhere. Electric poles damaged, public school buildings destroyed, properties and households worth several millions of naira destroyed by the wicked visitor.
A visit to the affected communities revealed a devastated communities and distressed people by The Hope. The scenes were simply horrible, depicting a sorry state.
The sad occurrence which happened four days interval first took place in Ugbe Akoko where over 200 houses were affected. Rooftops were blown away by the rainstorm while vehicles, properties were damaged. The rain which started at about 6.30 pm lasted for some hours.
It was the turn of Supare Akoko, in Akoko Southwest Local Government, Ikare Akoko, Akoko Northeast and Afin in Akoko Northwest Local Government four days later.
Places worst hit by the rainstorm were Ishakunmi, Igbede and Oyinmo, all in Ikare Akoko. Not less than 250 houses were affected. Afin Akoko in Akoko Northwest also witnessed unfriendly storm.
If what happened in Ugbe, Ikare and Afin were saddening, that of Supare was frightening and horrible too.
Nearly all the houses in the home town of the former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Alli Olanusi and the former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Victor Olabimtan were affected.
Over seventy percent of the houses in the town were touched by the rainstorm.
A visit to the town revealed completely blown away rooftops, corrugated iron sheets littered all places, some buildings completely collapsed with dejected and disillusioned people .
Narrating his experience, a victim, 100-year-old Pa Eguntoyebi Moses said all his hope to have a place to rest his head at his old age was now lost.
Pa Eguntoyebi who burst into tears while speaking on the issue said he is a widower whose children are living outside the state but have not heard from them for sometime.
The aged man who looked fragile and stressed called on the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to come to his aid, so that, he would not become permanently homeless.
“My children are not coming home, I have Police officer, government workers but they are not coming to see me. My wife is dead and I am living alone”.
” I beg Governor Akeredolu to help me so that I will not become a permanent homeless wanderer “
If the case of Pa Eguntoyebi was heart touching then you need to listen to one Mr Balogun Muritala, a physically challenged 40-year-old tailor while narrating his experience.
Balogun who moved about with the aid of crutches disclosed that the rainstorm had left a permanent scar on him.
According to him, his hope of livelihood has been destroyed by the rainstorm.
He told this writer that materials clothes worth million of naira given to him by his customers had been destroyed as well as his tailoring machines too.
The saddest part of his story was that he is now homeless as he now sleep from one place to another depending on who was ready to accommodate him for the night.
To make matter worse for him, his wife and children have been sleeping in different places and they have not been able to see one another since.
Another victim, 80-year-old Mrs Eunice Joseph, a resident of Supare Akoko, who was weeping profusely while speaking with newsmen, appealed to the state government to come to her aid, saying she has no hope elsewhere.
Eunice who claimed to be a peasant farmer said she is a widow and only inherited the house from his father.
She stated that she has been sleeping in the building since its roof was blown off because she has no other place to lay her head.
Speaking on the development, the Olusupare, Oba Adejoro Adedeji said he has been running from pillar to post to see that relief come the way of his people.
He disclosed that he has reached out to the state government and expecting the government to do something soon.
The monarch who described the occurrence as a disaster said houses including police station, public schools, residential buildings and properties worth several millions of naira were destroyed by the rainstorm.
A frontline Akoko community leader, Alhaji Ibrahim Kilani attributed the rainstorm effect to the depletion of our forests by the activities of the sawmillers and lumbers.
Kilani called for an effective government policy on tree planting and aforestation to curb further damage.
He also advised residents and house owners in Akoko and the state to start planting trees in their surroundings to guard against rainstorm.