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Eight Persons Missing As Heavy Downpour Hits Lagos Community

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The whereabouts of a yet-to-be-identified mother, her baby and six other persons including a man identified simply as Umar, have reportedly been unknown after flood induced by a heavy downpour washed them away in the Agege area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that during the heavy downpour on Thursday, flood overran a canal around the Abattoir area in Agege, and it levelled up to the bridge, making it impassable for motorists and residents to navigate their destinations in the area.

It was learnt that a tricycle operator while plying the axis, escaped death by a whisker when the flood swept his tricycle into the canal.

A resident, who gave his name simply as Wasiu, said as the events that almost led to the death of the tricycle operator happened, a woman while backing her child, lost control of her movement and fell into the flood.

As the flood was washing the mother and her child away, Wasiu said another resident, Umar, attempted to rescue the mother and her child by jumping into the flood, adding that the current of the flood washed the three of them into the canal.

Wasiu said, “The owner of the tricycle is my friend. He is a mechanic who stays in Oko-Oba. He was coming from Agege but when he got to the bridge, he realised flood had overrun the bridge and waited but suddenly lost control of the tricycle. As the tricycle moved forward, the flood dragged him and the tricycle into the canal.

“He was the only one in the tricycle and he survived because he swam out of the canal. His cloth got torn and people gave him something to wear. He is recuperating in the hospital.

“Around the same time, a woman, who carried her child at her back, tried to manoeuvre the flood but lost control, fell into the flood and it swept her feet and started dragging her and her child into the canal but Umar jumped into the flood to save them. The three of them have not been found to date.”

During a visit to Umar’s residence on Saturday, his neighbour told one of our correspondents that they got to know of the incident when people raised the alarm as the flood was sweeping them away.

The neighbour said, “He lived inside this compound. His name is Umar. When we heard the noise, we quickly rushed out but when we got outside, there was nothing anyone could do.

“We waited for the rain to subside. On the second day, we combed the entire area hoping to see the corpses. Even this morning, some of our residents still did but we found nothing.”

However, in another interview with one of our correspondents, another resident, who gave his name simply as Bamidele, said two tricycles were involved in the incident.

He added that while one of the tricycle operators escaped, the other tricycle operator and his passengers were swept away by the flood.

Bamidele said, “They were two tricycle operators involved. The tricycle operator that did not carry passengers jumped out and survived. The flood carried the other tricycle operator, his tricycle and his passengers away. One tricycle was later recovered.

“It is difficult to know anything about their rescue because they don’t recover the corpses of victims around here, it is usually around Aboru or Itele in Ayetoro, Ogun State. We only go there if we know the victims involved.”

The Chairman, Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, Johnson Babatunde, when contacted, confirmed the incident.

“I’ve gotten the report. It happened at Abattoir beside Total Filling Station. Our people need enlightenment. How can you see a flood and decide to enter it? I don’t know what is happening to all these tricycle operators.

“There were five people in the tricycle. People were there waiting because of the flood,” he said, saying he wondered why the tricycle operator decided to enter the flood even when other people waited.

Asked if the corpses of any of the victims had been recovered or if anyone of them was rescued, Babatunde said, “We have not seen them, there is no update yet.”

When one of our correspondents visited the Abattoir Police Station, the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Olatunji Oladimeji, said he led his men to the scene to investigate the case.

He said, “Everyone we spoke with could not confirm it. They kept saying they heard about it. We heard different stories. Some people said it was a motorcycle while others said it was a tricycle.

“It is difficult for us to file such a report. Nobody can tell us that they saw them. And till now, nobody has come here to report that anything has happened to them or their loved ones.”

Contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Nosa Okunbor, said the agency got “no official report yet.”

The Public Relations Officer of the state Ministry of Environment, Kunle Adeshina, said expansion work was ongoing on the drainage system in the area.

Adeshina said, “There is a drainage expansion project in the area. The contractor might have some delays but he is back on site working on it. There is also a need to clean up some parts of the area down to old Ota Road. Our drainage maintenance department has been contacted and cleaned up the site so that it can have the capacity to take up more water.

“When it rained, especially in flood-prone areas, we have always told people to refrain from underrating the power of water. It is better to wait and allow the rain to stop before people continue their journey. This has always been our campaign.”

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Man Dies Watching Television in Drinking Bar – Police Confirm

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The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the sudden death of a yet to be identified man, who reportedly came to watch television at a beer parlour in the state.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this in a statement on Saturday.

Hundeyin said that the owner of the beer parlour, whose name was not mentioned, reported the case to Elere Police Division on Wednesday at about 7.00 p.m.

He said that the report revealed that a customer (now deceased), whose name and address were yet unknown, in his 50s, came to the beer parlour located along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway at about 6.15 p.m.

The statement quoted the bar owner as saying thatthe customer walked into the open bar to sit and watch television.

The statement read in part:

“He was later observed to be sleeping on the chair and there was an attempt to wake him up, but they discovered that he was lifeless.

“The scene was visited by detectives of the division and the body was seen lifeless on the chair without any mark of violence.

“The body has been removed to Mainland General Hospital Mortuary Yaba, Lagos for autopsy. Efforts to trace his family is in progress.”

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Lagos Govt Warns Schools, Teachers Against Extension Classes, Fee-Paying Tutorials for Students

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The Lagos State government has issued a stern warning to teachers and schools against extending official hours for fee-paying extra lessons.

This directive was announced by the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Tolani Alli-Balogun, during the unveiling of a block of classrooms and furniture at Amuwo Odofin Junior High School complex.

Alli-Balogun emphasized that the extra hour after the official closing time – typically used for paid lessons – ought to be for extracurricular activities. The activities, the commissioner said, include clubs such as the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Boys Scouts, Boys/Girls Brigade, STEM Club, Writing and Debate Club, are essential for the well-rounded development of students.

Expressing his disapproval of the practice where the first lesson of the day is often neglected by teachers, Alli-Balogun warned that any teacher found derelict in their duties would face strict consequences.

“Do your job at the right time between 8.00am and 2.00pm and leave the extra hour for reading or extracurricular activities.

“We will no longer condone using that time for fee-paying extra lessons in our schools. Education is free in Lagos State, and nobody should be charging any fee for anything,” he warned.

The commissioner made these remarks during the inauguration of new classroom facilities and furniture at the Amuwo-Odofin Junior High School Complex, a project sponsored by Grimaldi Group and Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd.

He urged students to fully engage in the various social activities and clubs available to ensure their holistic development.

Alli-Balogun’s stern message underscores the government’s commitment to free education and the importance of extracurricular activities in fostering a balanced educational environment.

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Declare State of Emergency on Power Sector Now, Barth Nnaji Tells FG

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By Morakinyo Ajibade

Chairman, Geometric Power Limited, and former Minister of Power, Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, has said that only a state of emergency on the power and gas sector will restore the comatose energy and electricity crisis in the nation.

The former Minister, who just commissioned a power station in Aba, Abia State, made this call while speaking as a guest lecturer at the inaugural Dele Momodu Leadership Lecture, held at the Nigerian Institute of International and Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.

According to him, a state of emergency needs to be declared in the gas sector as this declaration will save the power sector and allow the government and other stakeholders to address fundamental issues in the gas sector in a robust manner.

“The issues will include how to strike a healthy balance between producing gas for export and gas for domestic consumption. Gas is equally needed in both markets.

“There is not enough natural gas or even liquefied petroleum gas used in the kitchen. Even the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company, a major foreign exchange earner that also has a guaranteed market, has been operating at 60% capacity on account of insufficient gas supply.

“The petroleum companies supplying gas to power-generating companies are in a tighter position. Because they are performing sub-optimally, there are now longer periods of electricity blackouts throughout the country. This is despite the spirited efforts of the NNPCL, the Ministry of Power and the Presidency,” he said.

The event, which attracted the who’s who in the nation’s political and economic climate, was held to mark the 64th birthday of Aare Dele Momodu, a veteran and seasoned journalist, who has dedicated most of his life time in the pursuit of equity and food governance in Nigeria.

Among dignitaries that graced the all important gathering were the former President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. John Dramani Mahama; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke; former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; traditional rulers, captains of industries, and the general public.

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