By Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Corpses have been washed up from their various graves following severe flooding of parts of Kogi State. Specifically, many graves in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State have been dug out by flood, exhuming human remains buried in them.
Also in Ilorin, Kwara State, property worth millions of naira have been lost to flood caused by heavy downpour that lasted from Thursday night to early yesterday in some parts of the Ilorin metropolis.
This is as the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) has revealed that all indices which played out in the infamous 2012 flood disaster were manifesting and warned that nine states on the banks of River Niger and three others on the River Benue should expect severe flooding soonest.
THISDAY on Friday reliably gathered that heavy downpour which lasted from 3p.m. on Thursday till late on Friday led to the Ofu River bursting its banks and flooding communities, submerging houses, opening graves and littering the communities with corpses.
Some of the affected victims disclosed to our correspondent that the flood destroyed the only road linking Ugwolawo to Obagu and other suburbs of local government.
According to them, the road is no longer accessible as a result of the massive volume of water flowing from Oda area cut the major road from Idah to Anyigba as it entered adjoining houses and submerged them with properties destroy and washed away tomb of the dead into Ofu River.
They lamented that amongst the bodies washed away from their graves include Pa David Akogu, and his two sons Omale, and Akebe who died over 20 and 30 years .
However, as the flood opened the grave of Late Mama Omaji Idachaba, and was carrying the corpse into the Ofu River, youths of the area mobilised and rescued it out of the flood, repackaged and took it to Idah her ancestral home for reburial.
Some of the areas affected by the Ilorin flood include Harmony Estate, Akerebiata, Gerin Alimi, Isale Koko, and Kulende among other parts of the metropolis where the flood swept many vehicles, several metres away, from where they were parked in some.
Meanwhile, Kwara State Government has advised residents of the state living along banks of River Niger to immediately relocate to safer areas to avoid loss of lives and property that could result from impending flooding.
The State Commissioner for Environment and Forestry, Mr. Amos Sayo Justus, who gave the piece of advice on Friday, said the directive followed the alert of looming flooding issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NiHSA).
Meanwhile, the federal government through the Director, Engineering Hydrology, NHSA, Mr. Clement Nze, disclosed that the height of River Niger in Lokoja, was at 10.1 as against the 9.74 in 2012 and, it was rising every hour due to the opening of the dams.
“The under listed states are going to witness flooding due to this indices and states are Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Edo, Kogi, Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states from the River Niger axis and Taraba, Benue and Adamawa
from the River Benue axis,” he stated.
“Shiroro Dam had joined Kainji and Jebba dams in spilling water and this has contributed to the steady rise in the water level.
“As at today, our hydrological measuring station downstream the confluence in Lokoja recorded a stage height of 10.1m and a discharge value of 21, 326 cubic metres/second as against lower values of 9. 74m and 19,762 cubic metres / second recorded on the corresponding date of 2012 when the flood occurred.”
He added it could be said that all the indices that caused the 2012 river flooding have manifested , except spillage of water from the Lagdo Dam .
He further explained, “It would be noted that it was on September 29, 2012 that the maximum flood level of 12 .840 m and the corresponding discharge of 31,692 cubic metres/ second were recorded at our station in Lokoja, downstream the confluence in 2012.
“By the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction released earlier in the year, according to him, September 28 is the earliest cessation date of rainfall in Sokoto and Katsina, while December is the earliest cessation date for the southern coastal cities.”
He said the implication of this was that the northern part of the country should be expecting more rains in the next three weeks.
Speaking in similar vein, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yenusa Maihaja, hinted that equipment for rescue had already been positioned in case of emergency.
He explained that the stakeholders would raise five committees that would go on fact finding and sensitisation tour of these states in order to prepare the communities for any events of flooding.
Stakeholders from the Defence, Fire Service, Ministries of Health, Education, Water Resources, however all expressed readiness for intervention.”