Areas: Lekki, Banana Island, Ikoyi, VI
Residents flee homes.
A heavy rain that fell on Friday night and Saturday morning has left hundreds of homes and roads flooded in Nigeria’s affluent neighbourhoods of Ajah, Ikoyi, Lekki and Victoria Island areas of Lagos State.
Lekki Phase I, all the way down to Lekki Free Trade Zone, and Ajah were severely affected by the flood. Other areas affected were Lekki Phase II, Osapa London, Victoria Garden City, Ikoyi, Banana Island, Badore, Bugije, Igbo Efon and Awoyaya.
Many of the residents in these areas, who are arguably millionaires, were stranded in their homes while others had to flee their houses to hotels and friends’ homes on the Mainland on Saturday after the flood entered their homes destroying property.
Commuters were also stranded at bus stops across the state following the downpour that lasted for several hours, with gridlock witnessed in several areas. Some of the commuters paid the sum of N1,000 to touts who were willing to carry them on their backs across the flood, while some brave ones swam in the flood to their destinations.
A video surfaced online of a white man paddling a boat in the flood but our correspondents couldn’t confirm if it was a recent video. Another viral video showed some residents in the area with a crocodile they caught in the flood.
A Twitter user, Deftonesceo, said about the catch, “After the intense flooding, some of our few friends came out to play. @oluwadee, come and make some shoes for me. #crocodileskin #lekkiliving.”
At Lekki Phase 1, several vehicles broke down on the road giving some hoodlums popularly known as Area Boys the opportunity to make money.
Depending on their bargaining power, motorists were made to cough up between N1,500 and N2,500 for their vehicles to be pushed out of the water.
In a bid to avoid flooded roads, several motorists drove against the traffic, causing more chaos on the road.
At Adetokunbo Ademola and adjoining streets on Victoria Island, several homes were overrun by the flood.
Public transport operators aborted their trips and passengers were forced to alight from the buses.
Similarly, tricycle operators had a field day as they operated freely on the flooded roads though they had to increase their fare.
For instance, they charged N150 for a N50-trip. Due to the scarcity of vehicles and the flooded roads, commuters were forced to trek to their destinations in the rain.
Operators of commercial motorcycles also had a field day ferrying commuters to places many buses and taxis could not ply.
Residents affected by the flood also posted photos and videos on social media to capture their agonies on Saturday.
A Twitter user, identified only as Abdulrahman, advised the Lagos State Government to declare a state of emergency on the incessant flooding in the state.
Sharing a picture of a flooded part of Victoria Island, he said, “I think Lagos should declare a state of emergency over this flood. This (picture) is not Lekki; this is the heart of VI. This place never witnessed such (flooding).”
Josiah Amaga, another Twitter user, said, “Let us take a moment to pray for our friends in Lekki, VI, Ajah and Lagos State in general for this flood.
Also on Twitter, Chidi Okereke wondered why flooding should be a major challenge in the state, despite its economic buoyancy. “How can we ensure it doesn’t happen again?” Okereke said.
An activist, Victoria Ohaeri, wrote on Facebook, “We have been told that Lagos is the centre of excellence. But when it rains non-stop for only two days, citizens are submerged in a flood of doubts.”
A Facebook user affected by the flood, Cookel Erheriene, bemoaned that the disaster made people stranded.
Sharing a photo of a flooded duplex in his area, Erheriene said, “Areas from Lekki Phase 1 all the way down to the Lekki Free Trade Zone have been partially submerged in flood. The situation has caused people to be stranded and broken down in spirit. Where will I sleep now?”
Also the flood did not spare the residents of Banana Island, the uber-rich enclave where plots of land are sold for as much as N500m.
Parts of the large estate which is home to some of the country’s richest men were heavily flooded. On 2nd Avenue (which is also known as Mike Adenuga Avenue), both sides of the dualised road were flooded.