Lokoja Floods Unleash Hardship On Residents, Sack State Assembly Members

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Residents of some parts of Kogi state have cried out to the state government for help as they face imminent threat of being submerged in the floods, following torrential rains that have besieged the area in recent times.

Some of the affected areas include Kabawa, a town which gives access to the state capital, just after the international market, as well as Adankolo town where some buildings have been totally submerged in the floods. Another settlement, Odeke village in Ibaji Local Government, can only be assessed by means of a canoe.

A major road in Kotonkarfe town is also under threat of total submersion, as the flood keeps rising on a daily basis rendering it unsafe for vehicular traffic. This situation has put extreme pressure on the Okene-Lokoja road, thereby giving rise to a heavy gridlock, especially at the Obajana junction, which sometimes stretches beyond 22km into Osara.

Another alternative route is a community road in Ganaja area, but which has been blocked by a long, static line of commodity trailers and fuel tankers stretching all in the way back to Ajaokuta, leaving residents of Ganaja community trapped, and motorists and commuters having to stay put in one spot for several hours. A commuter said he spent upwards of 2 hours on a distance of about 3km.

Speaking on the deplorable situation, a Labour leader and activist, Simeon Opaluwa, blamed the plight and sufferings faced by the residents, commuters and motorists, on the failure of the present state administration led by Governor Yahaya Bello to complete the bye-pass from Wada Road to the Zone Eight junction.

Comrade Opaluwa noted that since government is a continuum, it should have been a top priority of the state governor upon assumption of office, adding that, if that had been the case, the people of the area would have been spared this unnecessary hardship.

Comrade Opaluwa, while describing the flood as a natural occurrence, said the state government needs to be proactive in tackling this phenomenon that has become a yearly scenario and which has projected a negative image on the state and its administration. He called on Governor Yahaya Bello to rescue the people of the state by recalling the contractors back to site.

In a related development, the floods in the state have forced no fewer than 8 members of the Kogi State House of Assembly out of their living quarters along Ganaja road, Lokoja.

According to eye witness reports, the situation is capable of causing much more harm to the residents of Lokoja and its environs as the floods have taken over substantial parts of Nataco road Old Market all the way to Kabawa. As at the time of filing this report this morning, the only access to the Ganaja area was by canoe or flying boat.

Efforts to speak with any of the affected House of Assembly members proved abortive as none of them was answering their phone calls.

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