See Pictures of Effects of Windstorm in Ibil Ogoja
Residents of Ibil community in Nkum – Irede Ward of Ogoja Local Government Area in Cross River State have sent an SOS (Save Our Souls) message to the public, in their quest for rescue from the ravages of a windstorm that swept through the community two days ago.
Emmanuel Alaga, a resident of Ishi Aya village in the community, announced the plight of that community on his Facebook timeline when he posted this message:
“A state of emergency has been declared in Ibil, Nkum – Irede Ward, in Ogoja LGA in Cross River State following the disaster caused by windstorm that has destroyed so many houses, including our just completed church building and the Rectory (Father’s House) at Queen of Apostles Parish, Iboh – Ibil and also bringing down all the NEPA poles, exposing lives to great danger and has also rendered so many families helpless.
“A public holiday has been declared for schools. All commercial activities have been suspended including farming activities. We are therefore, calling on the government and all and sundry of Ibil to respond to our call and come to our aid. Please, we are in danger. Save our lives.”
When this Reporter called Emmanuel Alaga on telephone to get details of his claim that a public holiday was declared for schools in Ibil, he mentioned that although no official public holiday was declared, normalcy has been interrupted in all schools there, as a result of the impact of that windstorm.
He added that a privately owned school that occupies the premises of an abandoned government – owned rice mill in Ishi-Aya village was the worst affected school in that disaster. The school is owned by Honorable Anthony Awam Kanjal, a former Councillor and political stalwart in that community.
Similarly, Gabriel Upah, a resident of Ishi Aya village, posted on Facebook that “according to assessment, goods and properties destroyed are worth over one billion naira”.
Gabriel appealed to government, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and private individuals to assist the community.
Meanwhile, Mr John Inaku, Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has confirmed that his Agency is aware of the windstorm in Ibil.
He told this Reporter that a team of officials from SEMA would visit Ibil to ascertain the extent of damage wreaked by the windstorm, as a step towards providing succor to affected persons.
Mr Inaku appealed that in the meantime, affected persons should take pictures of their damaged property and send to SEMA, for onward dispatch to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant bodies, respectively.
Ibil community is made up of several villages including Ishi-Aya, Aburumbede, Itung, Ateng Ibil, Mfamju, Ishi and others. The major source of livelihood of its people is subsistence agriculture mainly done through rice, yam and cassava farming.
Ishi-Aya village which is reportedly worst affected by the windstorm, hosts proven but unexplored crude oil in commercial quantity.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah
Picture Credit: Emmanuel Alaga (Facebook)