Tragedy struck in Suleja, Niger State as up to eighteen people lost their lives in a flood that ravaged four communities after a heavy downpour that started in the early hours of Sunday.
The affected villages include Hi, Bakin-Iku, and Chachania.
According to a resident of Hi village, the downpour started at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday and trapped several people inside their homes.
He told SaharaReporters that the torrential rain caught residents unawares and they had to wait until the morning before scurrying out for safety, but by then it was too late for many.
The Hi local added that houses and cars were submerged while others were swept away by the flood.
“There is a man who stays with his family, and he lost two wives and six children. He was shouting for help but nobody was there to help him at that time. I heard his voice but I could not go out to help him because my house had been submerged and nobody could come to assist him as everybody was running helter-skelter. He lost his two wives and six children to the flood,” he said.
It was gathered that the only surviving member of the family was the father, who was said to be in critical condition in an area hospital as a result of the injuries he sustained when his building collapsed under pressure.
An eyewitness in Chachania village said another man named Danjuma lost six children to the flood. He said that the flood entered their house while all family members were asleep and swept them off.
At the time of this report, local divers were seen battling to save a boy who was swept away by the flood but managed to hang on to a tree in the middle of the river. It took the divers several hours before the boy could be rescued with the help of a rope.
Many victims were seen lamenting over their missing family members whose whereabouts they could not ascertain.
Properties worth thousands of naira were lost and hundreds of houses were destroyed by the flood.
Tempers flared amongst the youths in the area over the late arrival of the firefighters and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials, who arrived at the scene after rescue operations were almost concluded by local divers.
The NEMA official declined to comment on the rescue operations.
Residents of the four communities are still counting their losses and devastation they have suffered from the unfortunate incident.
It would be recalled that residents of the Lekki and Victoria Island areas of Lagos were devastated by a flood on Friday that destroyed several houses.