In their 20s, the young boys are always at the bank of the Ogunpa River at Dandaru area, off Queen Elizabeth/Parliament Road, Mokola, Ibadan either washing motorcycles, swimming or fishing.
But, the story turned sour two weeks ago precisely on May 8, during a mid-day heavy downpour. The rain which did not give much signal without thunder storm yet left a bitter taste after almost two hours.
Up till now the exact location of five persons that were said to be swept by the river is yet to be ascertained.
23 years old Ayuba and his five colleagues were said to be sleeping under a tree by the bank of the river when the rain started. How they were overwhelmed and swept away by an emerging flood enroute the Premier Hotel Junction along Parliament Road in Ibadan still remained a puzzle. The corpse of Ayuba was discovered hanging on an object with his legs and hands dangling under a bridge thereafter.
It took the intervention of fire fighters with the assistance of some men at the area to pull out his lifeless body with a rope tied round his armpits at about 5.20 p.m when the flood had subsided. Ayuba, who had lost his mother, was living with his grandmother.
An eye witness, Koyejo Akande, said “I usually see him with some boys here washing, fishing and playing. I know him through another friend. He had lost his mum and was living with his grandmother at Iwo Road. The grandmother is popularly called ‘Alhaja Olounje’ (canteen operator) at Iwo Road. Unfortunately my friend who knows the shop of Alhaja is not here now”, he said gazing at the lifeless body of the deceased.
In a similar vein, there was another victim at Agbowo in Ibadan North Local Government, Oyo State, whose case could not be said to be accidental but consequential. Though, a pathetic story but dramatic. The victim, a middle-aged man could not be identified. He would have escaped death but he chose otherwise.
According to eyewitnesses account, he was swept away with his white Bluebird Nissan car on the bridge at Omotara Agboola Midetel road, Agbowo, Ibadan, during the rain when he was forced into the river by the flood.
It was gathered that the victim was among several other road users, mainly Okada riders, who were trying to maneuver their way through the small bridge and all efforts by the people in the neighbourhood to discourage him from taking a risk across the bridge already flooded proved abortive.
The unidentified man was said to have insisted on crossing over the bridge during the heavy rain.
One those at the scene of the incident said,” the man thought he could maneuver his way through the bridge because everywhere was flooded, but his dexterity however failed him as one of his car tyres fell off. Immediately his car summersaulted into the gutter and the water covered it, he brought out his mobile phone and was making calls. Unfortunately, he winded up his glass.”
“We saw him battling to escape. Few meters from here, the force of the water pushed his car to hit one of the debris in the river thereby pushing him from one end to the other. At that point, nobody could save him. We were watching helplessly as the flood swept him away. One of the people who tried to rescue him said they traced him to Apete, Ido Local Government but could not find him.”
It was further gathered that member of the state fire fighter service were contacted to trace the car and rescue him, but some people in the neighbourhood claimed that they later found the car at a distant location but the man was nowhere to be found.”