Aftermath of Oko-Oba flooding: Mother, baby, six others feared dead, search operation yet to begin

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Thursday’s heavy downpour at Abule-Oba, Oko-Oba axis of Lagos State has left a number of people including a mother and her baby missing, NewsClick Nigeria can authoritatively report. 

Residents, motorists and commuters plying root on Thursday experienced significant disruptions due to flooding caused by the heavy downpour.

The roads became impassable as the floodwater made it challenging for vehicles to navigate. This resulted in severe traffic congestion, particularly from Abule-Egba Bus-Stop towards Oko-Oba on Agege Road.

NewsClick Nigeria observed motorists had no choice but to park their vehicles on the road and wait for the flood to subside as a canal on the left and right side of the road, just before Abbatoir bus- stop was overflowing with floodwater.

The difficult conditions caused heavy traffic as passengers coming from Abule-Egba were observed getting out of vehicles and continuing their journey on foot towards Agege road only to stop at the canal.

NewsClick Nigeria also observed that commuters had to wait for close to an hour after the rain had subside before wading through the water.

However, findings by NewsClick Nigeria on Monday revealed that a tricycle operator driving from Agege, narrowly escaped death when the flood swept both he and his tricycle into the canal. Eyewitnesses present there quickly ran to his aid throwing him a long stick which he caught and was used to pull him out of the raging flood.

An eyewitness told NewsClick Nigeria that two tricycles were involved in the incident. “Two tricycles were involved. One was without passengers and the other was loaded with passengers. Both happened at different time interval. The drivers thought they could maneuver their way through but the current of the flood overpowered them and were swept into the canal beside Total Filling Station. While passersby rescued the tricycle driver with empty passengers, the other and his passengers were not so lucky.”

NewsClick Nigeria also gathered that a woman, who carried her child at her back fell into the flood and it dragged her and her child into the canal. A man who tried saving them by jumping into the canal also did not make it out alive.

Meanwhile, residents confided in NewsClick Nigeria that a search operation was yet to begin four days after the incident. “People usually launch search operations if those missing are known within the neighbourhood or can be identified by their families. Most times, victims are usually first time passersby who have no affiliation whatsoever with this area or any form of identification to ease finding them,” a resident said.

Efforts by NewsClick Nigeria to reach the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) for comments was unsuccessful.

NewsClick Nigeria reports that heavy flooding on Abbatoir, Oko-Oba road is becoming a disturbing reoccurrence. Last year, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) loaded with family members was washed away after a similar heavy downpour. Lagos is one of the states in Nigeria that have been battling flooding for years without no end in sight.