Tragedy struck residents of Aboru and Iyana-Ipaja in Alimosho area of Lagos on Saturday as flood swept away an 11-year-old boy and his rescuer, one Wasiu at a canal linking Aburo and Iyana-Ipaja on Ige Road.
Newsmen, who visited the scene of the accident observed huge crowd wearing sad faces due to the unfortunate incident that occurred following the overflow of water from the canal.
It was gathered that two young boys sent by their parents to buy cooking gas at a gas station fell into a drainage that serves as a channel to the canal.
Three young men attempted rescuing the boys and succeeded in rescuing the older one, but one of the rescuers popularly known as Wasiu Stubborn was swept away while trying to rescue the other victim.
Speaking to newsmen at the scene, Mr Solomon Agboghoroma, a Community Development Association leader in Oki Town, regretted the development, saying that the government had failed to construct a bridge to prevent such incidents.
Agboghoroma, who recounted the ordeal of landlords and residents of the area anytime it rained, said that there was the need to expand Aboru road and build a bridge at Cement Bud Stop to forestall recurrence of such tragedy.
“This rain started almost four or five days ago but the one of last night was one of the heaviest and it started at about 2:15 a.m. and by 3:15 a.m., it came with full force and everywhere was flooded.
“Around 7:30 a.m. or 8:00 a.m., we learnt that an OPC member, who was a security guard in one of the gas stations here had been carried away by flood while trying to rescue two children who came to buy gas, but fell into the drain.
“The gas station had not opened because of the flood as the whole place including the canal had overflowed its banks.
“The children fell inside the gutter. This OPC boy went and rescued one but in the process of rescuing the second child, he and the boy fell into the canal and that was the end,” Agboghoroma said.
He blamed the government for the tragedy, saying that several petitions had been written to successive governments in the state from the time of former Governor Babatunde Fashola to the last administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
“People have been dying in situation like this here and all landlords have tried, including raising almost N4 million for dredging of the canal.
“The government knows what to do when it is ready because this canal contract was award sometime in 2011 or 2012. When we taxed ourselves, Fashola came and commended us and promised palliative measures and government takeover.
“The government should come and do the bridge as against this culvert that is here. This flat culvert cannot contain water. The government should widen this road and ensure the canal is dug for the peace and safety of residents,” he added.
Mr Suleiman Adedokun, an eyewitness and a shop owner beside the canal, told newsmen that the rescuer, named “Wasiu Stubborn“, entered the drain to rescue the boy but the flood swept both of them away into the canal.
“Wasiu tried, succeeded in catching the second boy but his effort to come out of the drain proved futile as it was not easy for him due to the force of the water.
“It is the bad road and narrow culvert that caused these deaths because these two children that fell inside the drain didn’t know it was there as water covered everywhere,” Adedokun said.
An officer of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (LSNC), who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity, said that the agency got the information around 9:00 am that flood carried away one Mr Wasiu a.k.a, stubborn while trying to rescue two children.
He said that the LSNC had made efforts and called relevant agencies of government, who he said may arrive the scene anytime.
“We are trying to locate the parents of the children and also to contact the family of Wasiu,” the LNSC officer said.