OROGODO FLOOD CLAIMS LIFE

It was all wailing and anger along the old Lagos/Asaba road, by Tete Street junction in the mid morning of Wednesday, August 25, 2010 when a mammoth crowd gathered to take a glimpse of a lifeless woman that was pulled out from under one of the culverts, less than 24 hours after a heavy downpour that occurred in the evening of Tuesday, August 24, 2010: wailing by the crowd because the victim was a well known lady Igbo trader in the community, and anger by the same crowd, because it was alleged that the government has left undone, what was supposed to have been done, to control the menace of erosion water in Orogodo metropolis.

According to an eye witness account, the rain which started about 5.40pm on Tuesday evening had forced several persons to take shelter at different places within the town. By 6.30pm, almost every part of the old Lagos/Asaba road including other bad portions of the metropolis have been heavily flooded. The eye witness, who said he was among those who took shelter under the TOTAL Filling Station, situated along old Lagos/Asaba road, stated that he saw about that time, a commercial motorcycle rider (Okada), carrying a woman and was trying to enter the old Lagos/Asaba road from Obiazikwo street, even inside the heavy flood. But the rain water was flowing with so much force and had overflown the pavement.

The Okada man who could not control his bike properly, fell down with the woman, into the heavy flood, and both of them were being drifted away. The source said that the Okada man who was trying to help the woman out of the flood could not do so, as the motorcycle had formed a barricade between the two of them, which made the Okada man to let go of the woman as she was being carried away by the heavy flood. The source further revealed that all those who took shelter under the filling station and saw what happen, were shouting for help. But no one was able to enter the threatening flood. When they eventually met the man that escaped from the flood, and asked him the whereabout of the woman he was carrying, he allegedly pointed down the direction of the flood telling them that the woman was rescued by some persons, perhaps, to avoid being interrogated further. He was later assisted to recover his motorcycle which was also carried to a point by the flood. It was gathered that the husband of the woman, who heard the shout of on-lookers under the TOTAL Petrol station when she was being drifted away by the flood, also came out from their two-room apartment, situated by the filling station, to see what was happening. Unfortunately he did not know that it was his wife that was being carried away by the flood.

Throughout the night of Tuesday and early morning of Wednesday, August 25th, family members of the woman who was later identified as Mrs. Ukamaka Eunice Ugoeke were busy searching for her. Every corner of Orogodo river was also combed, in search of her, until news got to the family later that morning, that the body of the late 36 years old petty trader has been found, deposited under a culvert along the old Lagos-Asaba road.

Market women, Okada riders, students of College of Education, Agbor including other persons in Orogodo metropolis had their movements disrupted by the horrible sight of the lifeless bulky looking woman who was said to be some months pregnant. The presence of military men and their white Hilux van including some policemen could not curtail the mammoth crowd some of who were weeping profusely, while others were condemning and cursing the authorities concerned for not looking into the problem of erosion in Orogodo metropolis and other communities in Ika land.

When the Divisional Police Officer of Owa Oyibu Police Station, S.P. Anolaba Emeaso, was contacted concerning the matter, he said that the incident has not been officially brought before him, and that a matter of such magnitude ought to have been reported, first at the police station.

Mrs. Ukamaka Eunice Ugoeke was described by those who knew her well as a very friendly, peaceful and easy going woman, who takes interests in the affairs of her neighbours. Her remains were later taken to her home town, in Isiokpu town, Idiator local government area for burial by the family members.

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