The Ilaje Development Summit Group in Ondo State has called on the Federal and Ondo State Governments to urgently intervene to check sea incursion ravaging coastal communities in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The Executive Administrator of the group, Rev. Sola Adebawo, said in a statement issued in Akure on Friday that without urgent intervention by the two governments, many communities in the area would go into extinction in a couple of years.
The group decried alleged 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 News Agency of Nigeria reports that on November 14, the Atlantic Ocean rendered more than 2,000 residents of Ayetoro Community in the Ilaje Local Government Area homeless as it destroyed more than 100 houses and properties worth millions of Naira.
The IDSG called for the 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.
It explained that it had put an Intervention Committee in place as part of efforts to drive the process and facilitate state actors’ engagement in giving succour to victims of the surge.
The committee is headed by former Chairman of Ondo State Civil Service Commission, Primate Afolabi Aboyewa
The group said Aboyewa’s committee would coordinate activities aimed at supporting the displaced people in the affected communities as well as collaborating with government at all levels.
It said: “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.
“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.”