‘Kogi Flood Victims Left Out of Post-Flood Housing Estate’

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Victims of flood disasters in Lokoja, Kogi State have lamented what they called their inability to secure accommodation at the Post Flood Housing Estate built by government for those affected by the 2012 incident.
The victims lamented that the 272 houses at the estate which were meant for victims are currently being occupied illegally by those not affected by the floods.

Leader of the victims, Apasi Tunde, who led a delegation to the office of the state deputy governor, Yomi Awoniyi, accused the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development of double standard.

He said in May this year, the ministry directed them (flood victims) to pay allocation fee of N20,000 into a Diamond Bank account, which they obliged.

He said after paying the money, they were given allocation forms, but that the ministry refused to hand over keys to the houses to them.

Tunde added that shortly after that, people believed to be politicians, security personnel and Okada riders occupied the estate and government did nothing about the development.

He wondered why the ministry did not eject the illegal occupants to enable real victims to park in.

“We were given allocation papers in May, 2015. The number of the flat allocated to me was 256. Our effort to access the property was to no avail as illegal occupants took over the estate, threatening to kill us if we come close to the area. We went to the Ministry of Lands to see the commissioner; infact for the past four months, we have been going to his office but some people prevented us from seeing him. Now, the illegal occupants are bragging that it is only the state governor who can remove them from the estate”, Tunde said.

Another victim, Mallam Ibrahim Momoh, who displayed his bank teller and allocation form, said where he currently resides at Adankolo River bank has been flooded and there is no alternative place for him to go to.

“We thought that the state government’s plan was to put smiles on our faces after what we passed through during the flood disasters, but to our dismay, more than one year after the houses were completed, the same government is foot-dragging”, he said.

Momoh appealed to the state governor, Captain Idris Wada, to evict the illegal occupants and reallocate the houses to the right people who according to him, are currently under threat of another flood.

Responding, Chief of Staff to the deputy governor, Mr Richard Akomode, said allocation of the post flood houses was strictly the responsibility of the Ministry of Land and Housing, assuring that government would look into their plight with a view to solving them.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State government has said that it will soon evacuate people living in flood prone areas in view of rising water level of rivers.

A statement from chairman of the Flood Management Committee and Kogi and Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, said the water has so far risen to a disturbing level of 9.66m.

Awoniyi called on the people to remain vigilant and relocate to safer locations, even as government work to ensure that lives and property are safe.

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