Eight landlords reportedly die from shock in Owakurudu community, Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State due to a gully that has affected houses in the community.
Concise gathered that no fewer than 50 houses had fallen into the gully reportedly created by an abandoned water channelisation project of the state government.
Speaking to some landlords, they noted the state government was responsible for their predicament.
One of them, Alhaji Tunde Agbonmabiwon, said he had been living in the area for about 27 years.
He told Punch, “I have been living in my house since 1991. There was no problem then. I have all my documents intact, including certificate of occupancy, survey and building plan.
“When I moved in, the pit was just about two feet wide. But the government, during a road rehabilitation, decided to channel all the water of Ijebu Ode through our community.
“Whenever it rains, we become afraid because the water pours in torrents. For about two to three hours after it must have stopped raining, floodwater will still be pouring through here.”
A 74-year-old landlord, Adesanwo Maseka, whose tenants had vacated his building, said he was losing hope.
“We called the attention of the Federal Government to it in 2008; a minister and the Awujale of Ijebuland, accompanied by other traditional rulers and chiefs, came for an on-the-spot assessment.
“We went to the house of former Governor Gbenga Daniel when he was still in charge of Ogun State and he asked us to weed the bushes and consider the job done.
“We called all kinds of people and government agencies, including the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority and their officials came to survey and have meetings with us. Nothing came out.
“What we are suffering is no fault of ours. The state government diverted water into our community. When I came here in 1985, I used to cross through this space to other streets. But now, see what has happened.
“All the houses on this line that have caved in, their landlords died from this problem. There are eight of them, including Odunaya, Eshin Funfun, Badejo, Baba Nepa, Baba Nubi and Ogunjirin. Look at what has happened to me as well, is this not enough to kill me? I am 74 years old. What other work can I do with my life? All the things I gathered in my lifetime are falling apart before my eyes,” he said.
In his response, the Ogun State Commissioner for the Environment, Bolaji Oyeleye, said the matter had been taken to the federal level, adding that it was beyond the state government.
“We have approached the Ecological Funds Office in that regard and we have also reached out to the Federal Ministry of the Environment to come to the assistance of the state.
“It is a project that we at the state level cannot face head-on; we need some form of intervention at the federal level.
“Even the last time we had a council on the environment last year, the council visited the site and took note of what was there. The council took it up to reach out on behalf of the state to the federal government,” he said.
Oyeleye said the state had yet to get anything from the federal government.