The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria has sympathized with the  victims of the Oyan Dam flood disaster currently ravaging parts of Lagos and Ogun  States. The party sees the disaster as a deliberate and avoidable calamity that is  being visited on hapless citizens of the two states through deliberate release of  water from the Oyan Dam by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA).

In a release in Lagos, signed by the party’s Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Joe  Igbokwe, Lagos ACN says it is unfortunate that at this age, we have not found more  creative ways of dealing with simple issues as release of water from a dam and  prevent the disastrous consequences of such operations. While it expresses its  concern and heartfelt sympathy with the victims of the flooding precipitated by this  act, it calls for urgent steps to deal with the consequences of the disaster.

Joe Igbokwe

“While we acknowledge the reasons given by OORBDA for releasing huge volumes of  water from the Oyan Dam, we feel that the relevant agencies would have been equipped  to deal with the rising casualties of such actions. We are alarmed that thousands of  citizens have been rendered homeless, several communities have been sacked and  innumerable properties destroyed by the flooding precipitated by the release of  water from the Oyan Dam and the areas most affected were communities in Lagos, which  borders the Ogun River.”

We are alarmed by the volume of damage the flooding is visiting on communities in  Ikosi Ketu, Agility, Mile 12, Owode Onitirin, Odogun Isheri, Majidun and many other  communities within the border areas of Lagos and Ogun States.

“Lagos ACN, while seeing the reasons for the release of the water from the dam,  believes that effective precautionary measures would have been put in place by  relevant agencies to prevent or even ameliorate the present calamities from the  action. We feel that the federal government and the two states would have been  mobilized to mobilize efforts to deal with the resultant consequences from the  predicted flooding from the release of water from the dam. In the absence of such  concerted action, which would have been anchored by OORBDA, we believe the present  damages would have been anticipated.

“We call for urgent action on the flooding, which seems not to be abating and we  insist that the federal government should release funds from the Ecological Fund to  deal with the outcome of the Oyan Dam disaster. We call that the relevant government  agencies be quickly mobilized to mop up the outcome of the flooding in the two  states. We call that firmer action be taken against violators of the environmental  laws to ensure future damages are minimized and we call on the government to take  firmer action to ensure that illegal structures within the given areas are removed  to ensure the drastic reduction of future damages from such actions.

“While sympathizing with the victims of the disaster, we call that they be  compensated and helped to resettle while future actions that would precipitate such  volume of disaster be carefully implemented after putting measures in check to  negative outcomes of such actions. Above all, Lagos ACN calls on OORBDA and all  other river basin authorities in Nigeria to develop more creative strategies to deal  with such situations and to ensure that damages are drastically reduced if not  totally prevented.”

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