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Heavy downpour wrecks havoc in Benin City, destroy buildings

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

Torrential rainfall which started in the early hours of Wednesday in several parts of the country wreaked disasters in Benin City Edo State with several houses destroyed

Reports said that though no life was lost, the heavy downpour swept many children into gutters in erosion-prone areas. They were however rescued by some good Samaritans including some able body men who were on hand to save lives of the children when they saw the dangers occasioned by the downpour.

Investigation revealed that areas worse hit were; Edo College road, Orhoro, Medical Store road, Upper Siloku road, Ugbowo and Uwasota road, Adolo College road Junction, Uselu quarters and Uselu Shell, among others where several houses were destroyed while others submerged.

Residents of Benin City especially those in the affected areas have expressed sadness on the situation alleging that the Obaseki-led administration worsened the situation for them considering his alleged non-chalant attitude towards ensuring proper rehabilitation of roads in Benin City and its environs.

One of the residents, Mr. Blessing Chiedu who spoke to our correspondent lamented, “Our major problem now is Governor Godwin Obaseki who has refused to rehabilitate roads in Benin City Edo State. You can imagine no drainage system in Benin City. Where will the water pass through? Our houses have been destroyed now and we are forced to be sleeping outside”, she lamented, appealing to well-meaning Nigerians and Edo indigenes to come to their aid.

Edo State Government had last week reassured residents of Benin City that the State government was determined to make sure that the erosion challenges in the State will be a thing of the past adding that Obaseki led administration was not unmindful of the predicament the people were currently facing following the erosion challenges.

Mr Osarodion Ogie, Secretary to the State Government, (SSG) who spoke to our correspondent said that the State government was committed to ensuring those deplorable roads are fixed adding, “While we sympathize with those whose houses were destroyed but we will say categorically that the State government is not and cannot be held responsible for the destruction of their houses. Rather, it is the rainy season and it is expected that some houses with poor foundation might be destroyed. We are working on several roads across the State”

Further investigation revealed that residents on Uselu quarters, Uselu Shell, Ugbowo axes, among others often suffer untold hardship bedeviling them following rainfall and over the years have often faced such challenges during rainy seasons.

 One of the residents, Michael Osadiaye who spoke to our correspondent said, “the Obaseki-led administration is a total failure. Just look at Textile mill road he’s doing at present, nothing to write home about. We are suffering seriously in Benin City. Everywhere is dirty and he is not bothered”.

Meanwhile, as at the time of this report, the torrential rainfall had continued with  thousands of Benin City residents held up in their houses while the civil servants many of whom were inside the rains and were completely soaked with the downpour just as cost of umbrellas have shut up because of the rainy season, including transport fare.

Already, dilapidated buildings were seen with their roofs blown off leaving occupants thrown to the rains while beggars the streets of mission and ring roads could not escape the hard wrath of the rainfall

A victim whose house was destroyed, Pa Osaghae Idahosa who spoke to our correspondent said, “We thank God for everything that no life was lost even though the house was destroyed. We are appealing to the State government to come to our aid because we are going to be facing serious challenges”

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