Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The devastating flood sweeping through Bayelsa has claimed three casualties including a Catholic priest and two children.
The deceased priest, Fr Francis Ighorurhie was said to have drowned Thursday night after he fell off a wooden bridge at the flooded area of Kaiama community in Kolokuma/ Opokuma.
Ighorurhie, from Delta State was a missionary of St Paul (MSP) serving as the Parish Priest of St Joesph Catholic Church, Kaiama. According to eyewitness account, the wooden bridge had been submerged with the rising water and it has become difficult for the people to use it.
After divers recovered his body, the Bishop of Bomadi Diocese was informed and his remains was taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Yenagoa
His death was said to have been received with shock by parishioners and the people of the community who have called on the government to do something about the rising level of water in the state.
“This is a sad moment for us. Father was on his way back from Bomadi in Delta State when he met his untimely death. But for the flood he could still have driven his car straight to his residence instead of parking by the road. It was as he was walking on the wooden bridge, which has been submerged he slipped and got drowned. Those staying at his residence had to raise alarm when they saw his car by the roadside and he was nowhere to be found.
“They however became suspicious when they saw his bag containing some provision floating on the water not far from the bridge, divers were contacted and his remains was recovered”, said a sympathizer
Two school children were also said to have died at Goodnews road, Akikoro, in Yenagoa Local Government Area while returning from school. Many communities in Sagbama, Kolokuma/ Opokuma, Yenagoa Local Government Areas have been submerged due to the rising level of water in the State.
There have been calls by environmentalists that the government should close down the schools to so as not to expose children to unnecessary risks.