Rock formations are common features of Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, and its neighbouring villages even as Abeokuta – people who live under the rocks – derived its name from there.
While some of the rocks which were formed centuries ago, according to geologists, are tourist sites such as the Olumo Rock. Others situating in remote areas, remained veritable sources of granites and stones in commercial quantities to people within and outside the state, for construction works.
And some of the residents, acting on the eroneous belief that rocks neither die nor decay, and perhaps because of the cool ambience they are said to engender at night, elected to erect their homes near or below those rocks, while others build atop of them, including altars of prayer, especially those who attached spiritual conotation to rocks.
So far, since 1830 AD when the Egba people arrived and settled in Abeokuta, both the rocks and the residents had co-habited with each other and safely, too, not even the earth tremor that occured in the city in 1986 could rupture that hundreds of years of living safely near rocks.
But penultimate Friday, that changed. A ‘treacherous’ rock in Iberekodo, Abeokuta, crushed four persons, including mother, two children and a grandchild, to death when it tipped off its base and rammed lethally on them after knocking down the wall of their bedroom.
The rocky Iberekodo community in Abeokuta North Local Government Council of Ogun state were left in shock and grief.
However, the man of the house, Ismail Lawal, Sukurat and Rofiat, survived the assault on the modest home by the deadly rock because they happened to be relaxing at the sitting room when it struck but they incurred serious injuries.
The victims – Mrs Silifat Lawal, her two children: Rasheedat (15), Semia (4) and a grandchild Mariam – had barely fallen into a deep sleep on their bed after a Friday dinner when the rock killed them.
The Nation gathered that the rock has been in existence in Iberekodo community before the Egba people settled in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, around 1830 AD.
Some of the villagers said the heavy downpour that fateful day, which they claimed softened the base of the rock situating on a location overlooking Ismail Lawal’s home, caused the ground to give way. According to them, the rock, having lost its balance, tumbled and rolled lethally on Lawal’s home beneath.
Source: The Nation
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