Local divers trying to rescue victims from Suleja flood at Bakin-Iku village near Abuja where scores lost their lives on Sunday. PHOTO: JIDE OYEKUNLE
Abuja – A flood which followed many hours of downpour displaced many homes and caused several deaths in Suleja, Niger State, on Sunday, witnesses said.

Witnesses said eight members of a household were suspected to have died in the flood which affected Suleja and Tafa local government areas of Niger State.

The head of the household was said to have survived but his two wives and six children were not lucky.

Many families were affected with household effects floating in the water.

Many people struggled to bale water out of their houses.

A victim in Bakin-Iku, who identified himself as Yahaya Yau, said that the torrential rain started at 12:00a.m subsided but later gathered momentum at about 2:00am as helpless residents scurry for safety.

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He explained that houses and cars were submerged while many were swept away by the flood.

“My neighbour (Yakubu), who has two wives and six children came out shouting for help because water had already entered their house. I heard his voice but I could not help him because my house had been submerged and nobody could go to assist him as everybody was running helter-skelter. He lost his two wives and six children to the flood”, he cried.

The only surviving father of the family was said to have been in coma and taken to the hospital as a result of the injuries he sustained in the collapsed building.

Another victim, Adesanya Afolabi, in Chachania community narrated that a man who gave his name as Danjuma lost his six children to the flood.

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Local divers were seen battling to save a boy who was swept away by the flood but was able to hang on to a tree in the middle of the river. It took the divers several hours before the boy was rescued.

Mohammed Mohammed, the District Police Officer in-charge of Division ‘A’ Police station in Suleja, could not confirm the casualty figure but said his men had visited the flood scenes.

“The flood affected many people who built their houses along the river bank; many houses have been destroyed with unconfirmed number of deaths recorded.

“Police are providing security around the scene so that hoodlums will not cart away victims’ property especially those lying outside,” he said.

He promised to furnish more details on the incident.

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The National Emergency Management Agency was not also able to give details.

Meanwhile, Abdulkareem Samanja, the Village Head of Hayin Nasarawa-Iku in the nearby Tafa Local Government Area decried the loss of property.

He said he was still awaiting report from ward heads on the incident.

At Suleja General Hospital, Musliu Mohammed, a 17-year-old boy, recovered from the flood and brought into the hospital by sympathisers, was placed on admission.