Kelvin Ezor & Stanely Igboke|30 March 2017
On Sunday 26th March, 2017 at exactly 5:30PM what looked like a heavy relief for the people of Ekureku community, a suburb town in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River state later turned out to be a catastrophic disaster as one person was feared dead in Isaja- Akarefor village; hundreds of people were rendered homeless, properties /goods worth millions of Naira destroyed in a windstorm that wrecked the community for the second time.
The rain which was recorded as the second rainfall for the year, was however ecstatically expected by all farmers for farming activities, but their joy was short lived as the rain became a havoc and a disaster to them rather than being a blessing, said one of the victim in Ngarabe whose entire building was destroyed by the windstorm.
Also, another victim, a PDP councillorship aspirant who gave his name as Mr. Benjamin Ezoke, said the windstorm blew off the entire roof of his house, but he thanked God because no one died.
Though, the rain began with little wind, no one ever thought it could be so disastrous as after it had rained for about 45 minutes, many houses got destroyed, goods of some businessmen worth millions of Naira was also damaged.
In Ngarabe community, a team of Ngarabe city that went round to collate statistics of affected houses, persons and goods as well reported that 20 houses were destroyed including a staff quarter of Primary Health Centre, Ngarabe. They reported that the PHC staff quarter which houses the Facility Head, Mrs. Ucha Jonathan was so dilapidated that it couldn't even be strong enough to have withstood any windstorm. According to them, the Primary Health Centre needs entire renovation to make it be at par with other contemporary health facilities as it is the health centre that birthed other health posts in Ekureku.
A hall built by Osu (Yam title holders) reportedly collapsed and a shop of a businessman whose name was given as Mr. Peter Ezor was destroyed thereby destroying goods running into thousands of naira.
Ngarabe city administration team reported that some of the roofs of the affected persons were blew off to far distance, like that of the Health Centre staff quarter was later found at Alive Chapel Church premises.
Similarly information was gathered from Akpoha, Agbara, Ekureku-be, Akarefor and Anong communities where Mr. Kelvin Ezor house was also reported to have been affected. Shops as well as electric poles were also destroyed.
While we call on both National and State Emergency Management Agencies to quickly intervene in this regard, we implore them to incorporate men and women of integrity who will be involved in the distribution of relief materials to the affected persons in the entre Ekureku Community as it was alleged that in 2009, those entrusted with the responsibility of distributing relief materials diverted it to their personal use, favoured only their relatives.
Kelvin Ezor & Stanely Igboke
Writes from Ekureku, Abi