Community Appeals to Makinde over Harvest of Deaths in Ibadan River

Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

Residents of Gege area in Ibadan South-west Local Government Area of Oyo State, have cried out to Governor Seyi Makinde to save them from untimely deaths posed by Gege River.

According to the residents, the river has a deep ditch behind the popular Gege meat market, adding that the top of the deep hole is covered with all manners of waste, making unsuspecting passers-by fall into the deep hole.

They stated that corpses of victims surface three or four days later, calling on Governor Makinde to visit the area and do something urgently to avert more deaths.

The residents disclosed that a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Folake Olunloyo-Osinowo, did some work on the river but could not finish before the end of her tenure at the National Assembly while her successors, Hon. Saheed Fijabi and Hon. Stanley Adedeji did not continue with the project.

It was, however, gathered that Chairman of Ibadan West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Hon. Tajudeen Adigun, visited the area and promised to call the attention of the state government to the problem but nothing has been done since then.

It was further learnt that the day the chairman visited coincided with the floating of a young female corpse trapped inside the river for three days much to the surprise of the council boss and his team.

To save lives, the community erected a temporary barricade with red and white caution tapes around the spot to call the attention of passers-by to the dangerous zone of the river.

It was gathered that about nine people had fallen victim, five of which were buried by the river side.

The residents appealed to the state government to clear and remove a dilapidated drainage erected in the middle of the river by a former member of the House of Representatives.

One of the residents, Miss Akinade Kehinde, said the problem started some years ago when it was discovered that there was a deep hole inside the river as deep as a storey building.

 “As young as I am, I have witnessed the burial of some victims by the river side. Our appeal goes to Governor  Makinde to please help us remove the dilapidated concrete in the middle of the river, close up the ditch and ensure free flow of water as a first step. Then he should help do proper channelisation like it has been done for Ogunpa River,” she said .

Another resident, Alhaja Mujidatu, who is in her 60s, pleaded with the governor to assist the people.

“Our governor should come to our aid. As a mother, it is very sad to be witnessing death of young and agile men in this River.

“We voted for Governor Makinde and now that we have problem, he should reciprocate by helping us out. Let him visit us, we will tell him, what is happening. God bless our governor,” she said .

Omotosho Saheed on his part, said the problem started when drainage was constructed in the middle of the river in 2012.

“Before then, there was no problem. The drainage didn’t cover the width and length of the river hence whenever there was heavy rainfall water dug the front of the drainage and created a deep gully like hole.

“This deep hole has become a danger point over the years, claiming so many lives. So we the residents have demarcated the danger zone but most passers-by may not understand the reason behind the demarcation especially late in the evening or early in the morning because it was done with cellophane tape.

“Our appeal is to the government to come to our aid. The government should help us do proper channelisation,” he stated.

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