Residents of Uselu in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State on Tuesday staged a protest over a missing six-year-old pupil, identified as Segun, who was reportedly swept away by flood.
The incident was said to have occurred around the Textile Mill junction, along the Benin-Lagos Road shortly after heavy rain on Monday.
It was learnt that the victim was being taken home by his mother when he slipped and fell into a gutter separating the service and major lanes.
The situation was said to have created chaos as some residents and traders in the area began a desperate search for the victim around water channels.
It was, however, learnt that the boy could not be found after several hours, raising apprehension that the child might have drowned.
The mother of the child, whose identity could not be ascertained as of the time of filing the report, wailed uncontrollably as sympathisers gathered to console her.
“I held him (victim) by the hand but he moved back and fell,” she said.
The situation was said to have led to a protest by angry youths, some of whom alleged that the drainages were not properly done.
The protesters also barricaded the busy expressway and grounded commercial activities in the area.
Motorists and travellers were stranded for some time.
“A family has lost a child now. He fell into the drain, we have not seen him and we do not know where he is. If the drain was open, we could have been able to find the child,” one of the protesters said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Chidi Nwabuzor, told our correspondent that he was in a meeting when he was contacted for comments.
But it was gathered that some security operatives were later deployed to the scene to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
Meanwhile, the National Emergency
Management Agency has advised residents to desist from dumping refuse into gutters to ensure the free flow of water during the rainy season.
The Head of NEMA in Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states, Mr Victor Nwaubani, warned that blocked drainages might lead to more flooding.
Nwaubani, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said, “The advice is to clean up the drainages because most of these things (floods) are caused by blocked drainages.”