Ekiti State Government has advised residents around Oke Agboona in Okemesi Ekiti to stay at least 300 metres away from the hill as the likelihood of a re-occurrence of a natural phenomenon known as “Soil Creep” in the area was high.
This was made known on Saturday by the Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola who led a delegation sent by the Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose to have an on-the-spot assessment of the havoc wrecked by the creep last Thursday.
The deputy governor trekked with residents who trekked to the base of the Agboona Hill.
Properties worth millions of naira were swept away by the creep in the early hours of last Thursday, after three days of downpour in the ancient town of Okemesi Ekiti.
Soil Creep is defined by Wikipedia as “the slow downward progression of rock and soil down a low grade slope; it can also refer to slow deformation of such materials as a result of prolonged pressure and stress”.
Prof. Kolapo Olusola, who congratulated the Owa Ooye of Okemesi Ekiti, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji and the entire people of Okemesi that no life was lost as a result of the disaster, promised that the government will hold a meeting with the Kabiyesi and stakeholders in Okemesi Ekiti on how to minimise the effect in future.
“Governor Fayose sent us here to commiserate with residents whose properties were destroyed by this large magnitude soil creep, there will be a meeting with stakeholders on how to mitigate its effects if the natural phenomenon occurs again in the future.
“Experts have said there is likelihood of a re-ocurrence, though it’s painful that properties were lost and relocating is not expected to be easy, we need to adhere to their advice that we stay 300 metres away from the hill. Far beyond rituals and sacrifice, we have to hearken professional advice, obedience is better than sacrifice,” Olusola said.
The delegation later visited the Owa Ooye of Okemesi Ekiti,”, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji in his palace where the Deputy Governor, Prof. Kolapo Olusola delivered the governor’s message. He stressed the government’s desire to do all it can to prevent loss of lives and properties.
“We have observed that there is a need for extensive drainage to allow water gushing out of the rock have a passage in a way that will not do any damage to the community at large. We are trusting God that despite paucity of fund, something will be done,” He added.
Thanking the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose for his prompt response and deeming it fit to send such a powerful delegation, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji expressed delight at the thoroughness of the team’s assessment saying he has no doubt that what befell Oke Agboona in form of a disaster will turn out to be a source of infrastructural blessing to Okemesi.
The Owa Ooye who noted that people were already alluding spirituality to the creep begged the governor to help expand the base of the Hill (Eleyinmi).
“What happened on Thursday once happened in 1973 but nothing was done by the government then, the creep also occurred in recent times but not of this magnitude, I plead with your excellency to help us expand the mountain base (Eleyinmi).
“If the base is expanded and a channel is created, a channel is there already but needed to be expanded, once it is expanded, whenever a creep occurs, the water and debris will have a place to move to. As it is now, God forbid, if it happens before the expansion, it is most likely to be disastrous,” Kabiyesi said.
On the governor’s team were the Commissioner for Environment, Otunba Bisi Kolawole and Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications & New Media, Lere Olayinka, who is an indigene of the town.
The team was received in Okemesi by Hon. Shina Animasaun, a member of the state House of Assembly, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Ekiti West Local Government, Alhaji Idris Agbabiaka, among others.