Ibadan: Residents cry out as Gege River claims 9 lives  

Residents in Gege area of Ibadan Tuesday raised alarm over the mysterious death of no fewer than nine people in a ditch at  Gege River  in Ibadan South West local government area of Oyo state.

The residents raised the alarm in a Save Our Souls  (SOS) message to Governor  Seyi Makinde on the havoc wrecked in the area by the River and called on the governor to visit the area and do something to avert more deaths in the River.

It was learnt that the Gege River has a deep ditch behind the popular Gege meat market with the top of the deep hole covered with refuse and wastes, making unsuspecting passers-by to think it is a dry spot.

Investigations revealed that as soon as any of the passer by stepped on it they will fall into the deep hole with  the dead body of the victim coming back to the surface three or four days after. 

Sources in the area alleged that more than 9 people, mostly youth, have fallen into the ditch, resulting in their untimely death and about nine had fallen victim, with five of them buried by the river side.

Sources added that the deadly spot was once covered by a former House of Representatives member from the area and has been neglected by successive lawmakers from the area.

It was gathered that during the visit of a former chairman of Ibadan West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), into the deadly spot,  the  dead body of a young girl  trapped inside the river three days earlier was sighted floating to surprise of the chairman and his team.

As at present, residents of the area are appealing to the Oyo state government to help clear the river and remove a dilapidated drainage erected in the middle of the river by a former member of the House of Representatives.

A resident in the area, Mr Omotosho Saheed,  stated that the problem in the area started when drainage was constructed in the middle of the river in 2012, adding, “Before then, there was no problem. The drainage didn’t cover the width and length of the river, hence whenever there was heavy rainfall, water dug the front of the drainage and created a deep gully like hole. 

This deep hole has become a danger point over the years, claiming so many lives. So, we the residents have demarcated the danger zone, but most passer- by may not understand the reason behind the demarcation especially late in the evening or early in the morning because it was done with cellophane tape.

“Our appeal is to the government to come to our aid. The government should help us do proper channelisation.”