By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Oyo State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Chief Isaac Ishola on Thursday hinted that the state government will seal or lock any bank, company, office, or house whose owners are contributing to the blockage of drainages within Ibadan metropolis.
Chief Ishola dropped this hint in Ibadan while speaking with journalists at a stakeholders interactive forum on management of public spaces (MOPS) on moves by the state government to avert flooding in the state capital as well as other parts of the state.
The Commissioner emphasized that the flood that ravaged some parts of Ibadan recentlywas an artificial one caused by those blocking the drainage as revealed during his visit to the affected areas to ascertain the causes and level of damages.
” I have always been saying it that if we want to prevent flood, it takes the cooperation of everybody. But, thank God for the efforts of the government, we don’t have excess water from rivers this time around.
However, those areas that you see, I have gone round to see, but by the time I got to Mokola, what I saw there, I feel like crying. From Oke Itunu there down to Mokola, all those banks, corporate bodies have sealed up the drainages, and the gutters, so there is no place for the water to pass”, he said.
The Commissioner added, “the flood is caused principally by the blockage of the drainages”, saying, “and like what I told you, from today we are going to serve all those corporate bodies letters and individuals who have done one thing or the other to block the drainages. We will give them just a day notice, let them clear the drainages.
Chief Ishola thenvowed that henceforth, anyone found guilty of blocking the drainages after a warning notice has been given to them toady (Thursday) will have his or her property sealed or locked after tomorrow (Friday), saying, his Ministry will as from today, will give banks, houses and companies blocking the drainages in Ibadan notice to clear all the drainages or risk being sealed or put under lock.
Speaking further, the commissioner said the Ministry had discovered that some banks, shopping complexes, shops in Mokola, Roundabout, Challenge and Ring Road areas have blocked some drainages, and that they will be sealed if they failed to clear the drainages after tomorrow. adding that, “, by the time we get there tomorrow, if they did not clear the drainages, we will get them sealed or locked. We will get them sealed up. Now, a committee has been set up to evacuate all the destitute.
Stressing that Oyo state government will not compensate all the victims of the flood except those who have justification for it, this Commissioner said, “the government cannot compensate just like that, we have warned them. They are self created problems. I was at Ring Road that evening, this illegal market they put there is blocking the drainages.”.
” We have warned them that if your house is by the road side or drainages side, if the rain continue for 30 minutes, leave the area.
But, then, we are not saying that the government cannot compensate, but, there must be justification for that compensation otherwise, everybody will just be coming for compensation”.