The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria has sympathized with theÂ victims of the Oyan Dam flood disaster currently ravaging parts of Lagos and OgunÂ States. The party sees the disaster as a deliberate and avoidable calamity that isÂ being visited on hapless citizens of the two states through deliberate release ofÂ water from the Oyan Dam by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA).
In a release in Lagos, signed by the partyâ€™s Lagos State Publicity Secretary, JoeÂ Igbokwe, Lagos ACN says it is unfortunate that at this age, we have not found moreÂ creative ways of dealing with simple issues as release of water from a dam andÂ prevent the disastrous consequences of such operations. While it expresses itsÂ concern and heartfelt sympathy with the victims of the flooding precipitated by thisÂ act, it calls for urgent steps to deal with the consequences of the disaster.
â€œWhile we acknowledge the reasons given by OORBDA for releasing huge volumes ofÂ water from the Oyan Dam, we feel that the relevant agencies would have been equippedÂ to deal with the rising casualties of such actions. We are alarmed that thousands ofÂ citizens have been rendered homeless, several communities have been sacked andÂ innumerable properties destroyed by the flooding precipitated by the release ofÂ water from the Oyan Dam and the areas most affected were communities in Lagos, whichÂ borders the Ogun River.â€
We are alarmed by the volume of damage the flooding is visiting on communities inÂ Ikosi Ketu, Agility, Mile 12, Owode Onitirin, Odogun Isheri, Majidun and many otherÂ communities within the border areas of Lagos and Ogun States.
â€œLagos ACN, while seeing the reasons for the release of the water from the dam,Â believes that effective precautionary measures would have been put in place byÂ relevant agencies to prevent or even ameliorate the present calamities from theÂ action. We feel that the federal government and the two states would have beenÂ mobilized to mobilize efforts to deal with the resultant consequences from theÂ predicted flooding from the release of water from the dam. In the absence of suchÂ concerted action, which would have been anchored by OORBDA, we believe the presentÂ damages would have been anticipated.
â€œWe call for urgent action on the flooding, which seems not to be abating and weÂ insist that the federal government should release funds from the Ecological Fund toÂ deal with the outcome of the Oyan Dam disaster. We call that the relevant governmentÂ agencies be quickly mobilized to mop up the outcome of the flooding in the twoÂ states. We call that firmer action be taken against violators of the environmentalÂ laws to ensure future damages are minimized and we call on the government to takeÂ firmer action to ensure that illegal structures within the given areas are removedÂ to ensure the drastic reduction of future damages from such actions.
â€œWhile sympathizing with the victims of the disaster, we call that they beÂ compensated and helped to resettle while future actions that would precipitate suchÂ volume of disaster be carefully implemented after putting measures in check toÂ negative outcomes of such actions. Above all, Lagos ACN calls on OORBDA and allÂ other river basin authorities in Nigeria to develop more creative strategies to dealÂ with such situations and to ensure that damages are drastically reduced if notÂ totally prevented.â€