By Dayo Johnson
The Ilaje Development Summit Group (IDSG) in Ondo State yesterday called on the Federal and Ondo State governments to urgently intervene to check sea incursion ravaging the riverine communities in Ilaje council areas of Ondo State.
Recall that no fewer than 2,000 residents of Ayetoro Community in the council area were displaced by the ocean surged that occurred last week while over 100 houses were destroyed
The call was contained in a statement by the Executive Administrator of the group, Rev. Sola Adebawo in Akure.
Adebawo said that without urgent intervention by the two governments, many communities in the area would go into extinction in a couple of years.
The group lamented the neglect of Ilaje communities in the coastal shoreline of Ondo State by successive administrations, leaving the communities at the mercy of the surging Atlantic Ocean over the years.
The group called for immediate provision of relief materials and medical support to alleviate the hardship of the people, and called on the Ondo State government specifically, to provide temporary shelters for those already displaced.
Adebawo said that an Intervention Committee has been part in place to drive the process and facilitate state actors’ engagement in giving succor to victims of the surge.
The committee according to him is headed by former Chairman of Ondo State Civil Service Commission, Primate Afolabi Aboyewa
The group said that Aboyewa’s committee would coordinate activities aimed at supporting the displaced people in the affected communities as well as collaborating with the government at all levels.
“The committee will be working with all stakeholders to alleviate the sufferings of the people and to evolve a sustainable solution to the seemingly intractable problem.
“It is instructive to note that many communities in Ilaje Local Government Area, such as Messe, Gbagira, Jinrinwo, Odofado, Abereke, and others, have suffered incessant debilitating effects of ocean surge for years.
He said that “The most recent impact is felt at Aiyetoro, the hub of Ilaje creativity and industry, where several homes have been damaged, and several properties worth over a billion Naira destroyed,’’