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Torrential Rain Unleashes Grim Flood, Leaving Ogun Community Stranded and Terrified

Gateway Sparklight Estate, a residential area located opposite Mountain Top University along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Ogun State, experienced a debilitating flood on Thursday, severely disrupting the daily activities of its residents. The main road connecting the estate to the highway was completely submerged, leaving inhabitants unable to venture outside their homes.Upon visiting the area on Thursday morning, our correspondent encountered an impassable road, effectively cutting off access between the estate and the expressway. Motorcyclists, motorists, and pedestrians alike found themselves marooned on either side of the link road, their plans and routines brought to a standstill.According to reports gathered by PUNCH Metro, a relentless downpour that persisted from Wednesday night until the early hours of Thursday wreaked havoc in various areas of Ogun and Lagos states, leading many to describe the rainfall as unprecedented. In the Sparklight Estate vicinity, numerous shops along the roadside, including furniture and drinks stores, succumbed to the rising waters, as flood levels surged to at least half the height of these establishments.Evidence of the dangerous circumstances surfaced as an abandoned motorcycle was spotted, presumably left behind by its owner who likely fled to safety. Jide, a resident who had prepared to leave for work, promptly reversed his decision upon encountering the impassable route, prioritizing his personal safety. “It’s better to capture the scenes in photographs and forward them to my boss than to risk traversing this waterlogged expanse,” our correspondent overheard him remark as he retraced his steps back to the estate.Michael Adams, another resident who shared his thoughts with PUNCH Metro, expressed concern over the grave risks posed by the flooding. He recounted a tragic incident from two years ago when an Igbo boy, who was selling gas, lost his life after venturing into the water on his motorcycle, carrying gas cylinders. The forceful current swept him away, and he was later found lifeless.The situation took on a surreal tone as an individual arrived at the scene, armed with fishing gear such as nets and a cutlass, in an attempt to capitalize on the presence of fish that had been displaced by the floodwaters. Two women followed suit, fetching fishing baskets from within the estate to join the impromptu fishing expedition. “If we’re unable to leave, we can stay at home and cook fish,” remarked an unidentified man.Expressing her concerns, Funsho, a worried onlooker who leaned against her car, emphasized the pressing need for a bridge in the area. Meanwhile, a young boy and girl, struggling to navigate the treacherous waters, clung to each other anxiously, fearing they might stumble and be swept away.In another part of Ogun State, specifically the Magboro area, commuters faced a similar predicament as they grumbled about the deplorable condition of roads leading to various estates off the expressway. The heavy rainfall on Wednesday evening compounded the already dilapidated state of these roads, causing them to deteriorate further.Our correspondent’s observations on Thursday morning revealed vehicles gingerly maneuvering through water-filled potholes along the route, which had transformed into miniature ponds. Some sections of the road remained inundated, leaving vehicles stranded overnight. Tempers flared between a bus driver, whose vehicle had become trapped, and a commercial motorcyclist, whom the former blamed for his misfortune. The confrontation escalated to the brink of physical altercation before passersby intervened to diffuse the tension.Iya Ahmad, a food vendor in the Gasline area, expressed uncertainty regarding her ability to generate sales amid the dire road conditions. She lamented, “There is simply no place for my customers to even set foot, even if they wished to purchase food.”Isiaka Lukman, a driver deeply disheartened by the road’s state, voiced his frustration, asserting that the road had been constructed during the administration of former Governor Ibikunle Amosun. He emphasized that subsequent administrations had neglected the critical task of maintenance, leading to the current dire situation.The flood-related ordeal faced by residents of Gateway Sparklight Estate and the woeful condition of roads in the Magboro area underscore the urgent need for robust infrastructure investments and effective maintenance. The incident serves as a clarion call for authorities to prioritize the development of bridges and comprehensive road rehabilitation measures in order to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens.


Ademola Adeyemi

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