19th July, 2011
In 1985 at the University of Nigeria Nsukka , a lecturer told the graduating class of Engineering students that they can handle most complex and daunting engineering problems in the world but they must not forget that the probability of anybody dying is a unity (that is sure to happen). In the same vein we were told also that there is nothing we can do to change the weather- you cannot stop volcanoes, you cannot stop flood and you cannot stop earthquakes, wind storm, etc.
On Sunday 10 July, 2011 Lagos witnessed an unusual rainfall, the heaviest in my 30 years of sojourn in the state. Unfortunately, the flood led to the death of some Lagosians and rendered many homeless. Goods worth millions were destroyed also. It was a natural disaster nobody could have stopped except God. And after accessing the huge damage done by the flood, Governor Babatunde Fashola who was deeply touched consoled Lagosians thus: â€œmy sympathy goes to the people affected in the flood. I condole with people who lost children or properties, they should know that I am with them,â€¦â€¦â€ The hardworking governor also assured Lagosians that he will engage the Federal Government on how to ameliorate the pains and agonies caused by the flood.
But on 14 July, 2011, Lagos PDP addressed a press conference on the unfortunate incident. And what is their take on the matter? Governor Fashola should resign for not doing enough to stop the natural phenomenon. Now this is vintage Lagos PDP â€“ a party that has refused to grow up in Lagos year in year out. Can you believe this? Can you figure this out? Can you listen to them? Can PDP get it?
Lagos State Government and the Natural Meteorological Institute have issued repeated warning that rains this year may be very unusual and asked Lagosians to brace up for the impending challenges. It was supported by unusual affirmative actions on canals almost all over Lagos. Only a blind person or organisation like Lagos PDP will say that nothing has been done to prevent the problem we have in our hands. This is because Lagos PDP lacks depth and honour. This flood is not peculiar to Lagos alone in Nigeria. The flood ravaged Ogun State, Katsina and few other areas. Developed countries like the United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, China, India, and France have repeatedly witnessed this flood problem in recent times and as I speak to you, flood is still ravaging India, China and even the United States. Lagos is a coastal area which is prone to flood and we cannot stop this by executive fiat. But this is not an excuse. Lagos State Government presided over by Governor Fashola has the capacity and the capability to deal with the challenges of flood in Lagos and what he needs is encouragement from all and sundry including PDP at a time like this. Petty politics is needless here when dealing with natural disasters and I hope PDP Lagos (if the party is still existing in Lagos) is listening.
â€¢Joe Igbokwe wrote from Lagos.