A three-year-old child and five others have been confirmed dead in the flood that wreaked havoc in Ibaji Local Government Area (LGA) of Kogi State.
Two of the victims were brought ashore by divers following a boat that capsized on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, while trying to ferry residents across to Ganaja village from Gadumo area in Lokoja.
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP William Aya, confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday, October 5.
“Yes, I can confirm that two bodies were discovered by divers following a boat mishap on Tuesday when trying to ferry residents across the flooded parts of Ganaja-Lokoja road.” he stated.
An eyewitness identified one of the deceased victims as Abudulfatia Abudulazeez.
“The boat mishap had passengers crossing from Ganaja to the Ajaokuta end. Unfortunately, the boat could not take them to their destination as people were watching helplessly, with no one to assist since it was in the night.” the witness said.
Chairman of Ibaji Local Government Council, Williams Iko-Ojo, while speaking with journalists said four persons, including a toddler, have been killed in addition to the destruction of the entire farmland in the LG.
“As I’m speaking with you right now, there is no single habitable land in Ibaji; everywhere has been submerged and people are in a devastating condition,” he said.
“To be honest, the humanitarian crisis is beyond what the local government can tackle. We are calling on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and all relevant authorities to come to the aid of my people.”
Also, the Ejeh of Ibaji, Ajofe John Odiche Egwemi, called on the federal government to complete the dredging of the River Niger, including building of dams, as a long term solution to flooding.
“I feel very devastated with the magnitude and the destruction that have come from the flood disaster. Usually, we do experience flooding of farmlands between August and October, but not of this magnitude. The flooding then usually comes with alluvial soil for a rich harvest and plenty of fish. That was how our parents and great parents lived and enjoyed the community.” he said.