Abuja flood deaths: Lokogoma residents protest

Lokogoma protest
Lokogoma protest

The flood that claimed the life of a father and his two children in Lokogoma area of the FCT sparked a solidarity march on Thursday to draw the attention of the government to the poor state of infrastructure in the area.

The deceased, identified as Kenneth Nwoga, and his two children, Winner and Prestige, died from the flood while driving from I-Pent5 estate on August 17.

The Director-General of FEMA, Idris Abass, who confirmed the tragic incident told journalists that Mr. Kenneth and his children, a boy and girl, died when their Toyota Highlander SUV entered into the flood.

When PREMIUM TIMES arrived at the scene of the peaceful protest, a crowd that had gathered dressed in black attires held placards with various inscriptions.

“Save Our Souls, Provide Primary Infrastructure Now! #LOKOGOMA3DEATHNOTINVAIN,” one of the placards read.

Others read “We are tax payers! We deserve government presence in Lokogoma #LOKOGOMA3DEATHNOTINVAIN”.

“Flood is controllable, provide infrastructure now #LOKOGOMA3DEATHNOTINVAIN”.

One of the conveners of the march, Joseph Nnorom, said the government has “abdicated” its responsibility by not providing basic infrastructure in Lokogoma.

The physician explained that there were about 30 estates and about 400,000 subscribers of the mass housing scheme in Lokogoma.

“We subscribed because we had faith in government even though it’s on a PPP, private public-sector partnership,” he said.

“We also believed and bought into it, but unfortunately as you can see, if you look, there are no roads here, what you see here as roads are actually tracks that were made by tippers, lorries, delivering building materials to construction sites.

“That is what we have been using since 2008 till date as roads, as access roads.

“Government has completely abdicated its responsibility to provide primary infrastructure which is defined as access road and drainage to all the estates. Granted that some of the developers have not done the internal infrastructure, but the government was supervising access roads and the internal infrastructure there has been a complete failure of the whole thing,” he added.

Speaking further, Mr. Nnorom revealed that letters had been written to the Abuja minister towards relieving the plight of residents of the area.

“We have made representations to the authorities; we have written to the minister previously, we have the acknowledgment endorsed copy of what we wrote to honourable minister to come to our aid.

“Anytime it rains, most of us will be trapped outside the whole of this place until the rain subsides.”

The doctor also narrated what happened on the day the father and his children died.

“A family of seven, the bread winner and the two eldest children are gone. We have heard all sorts of rumours about what happened. What happened was that the man was going to send the daughter and the son to summer school and unfortunately their car was swept off by flood and they drowned,” he said.

“We have written the honourable minister including the goring mortuary pictures of the diseased, and the letter was submitted on Monday again. So today we decided, we have to come make ourselves physically available for people to see that there are human beings living here not animals.

“For crying out loud, Lokogoma is part of FCT as you can see there is no government presence. It is Kenneth Nwoga’s family now; it may be my family next time. Even when you are not around, your children may take a wrong decision so it is an environmental hazard that everybody is exposed to.

When PREMIUM TIMES later contacted Mr. Nnorom on the outcome of the protest march at the minister’s office, he said, “We met with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of FCT and his directors. Two decisions were taken:

1. A team of engineers was dispatched immediately to Lokogoma to assess what palliative measures could be put in place to immediately alleviate the suffering of residents.

2. Five (5) of our members were immediately co-opted into the FCT infrastructure technical team so we could together plan and prioritise Lokogoma infrastructure needs.”

An effort to reach other members of Mr. Nwoga’s family were unsuccessful.


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