Fashola Sympathises with Victims of Papa Ashafa, Agege Windstorm

  …Says the state would assist victims to restore damages

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, SAN, on Friday paid a sympathy visit to some residents of Papa Ashafa Area of Agege who were affected by windstorm following the heavy rain of Tuesday, promising that the state government would assist the victims with the materials needed to restore the affected roofs and other damages caused by the windstorm.

The Governor, who fielded questions from newsmen at Papa Ashafa area in Orile Agege, after inspecting the extent of damage, noted that many of the people who were affected in varying degrees and have been resettled, adding that those needing relief materials were also getting them.

The state government, he said, had helped the victims with slates, building materials and other such items needed to indemnify them, while it had moved in artisans, bricklayers, carpenters, some of who are from the State Technical Colleges to help them rebuild their houses, which is a case of using what the state has produced.

He reiterated that the windstorm is about nature at work and usually happens around March, noting that if people had watched the news on Friday morning, they would have observed  many European countries busied preparing for the approach of thunderstorms which could leave devastation in its trail.

“If you recall three years ago, it is around March that the windstorm usually comes to Lagos. Two years ago, it happened on Third Mainland Bridge and destroyed all street poles there, last year it was in Epe and this year, it came here,” the governor said.

According to him, “In the last three days, for those who lost their roofs, we have assembled carpenters; we have also got roofing sheets. Those whom the slates of their homes have been broken, we have taken slates. All of them would be sorted out; they should please just exercise patience. We would look at ways to settle the payment. That is what we are using your taxes for”.

He said he had asked the commissioners to take charge and get materials at the place immediately because of the rainy season adding, “We need to put shelter and dignity back to our people very quickly before the rains come at full speed. We would go and tidy all the paper work for procurement later because this is an emergency”.

Fashola, who got to the area during a heavy downpour, also appealed to residents to take control of their refuse management as the rains approach, adding that they must bag their refuse and desist from dumping it in the drains.

“You must bag your refuse, don’t dump them in the drains, they would constrict the drains that we have built and on a heavy storm day, if the water does not find where to go, it would jump out and come into your homes. We must avoid that,” he added.

While speaking on the violent robbery attack on Lekki on Thursday, where three policemen and a citizen lost their lives, the governor said it represents an unusual experience for the state which has been secure and safe over the years.

He urged all residents of the state to stay calm, as the government is already on the heels of those who attacked the state, assuring that they would be fished out and brought to justice.

Responding on behalf of the people of the area, a community leader, Alhaji Yussuf Agboola, said the present administration in Lagos State has done a lot not only in response to the present incidents but also when there was a terrible problem of flooding in 2007.

“Our governor did a lot to assist the entire community and when this incident happened, immediately he was informed, he sent out all his team of engineers, they came, we went round all the areas and saw the effect and immediately relief materials have been coming in to support those affected and not only that, those who are displaced have been taken care of and taken to Resettlement Camp Igando”.