Residents of the central part of Nigeria have cried out to government for help as dangerous animals, including crocodiles, snakes and hippos, have found their way into their homes and communities following the devastating flood that has ravaged the area.
Authorities say the creatures were carried along flood-swollen rivers.
“There is now a hippopotamus in my house,” Benue state resident Wuese Jirake told reporters. “I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home.”
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the flooding. Hundreds of death have also been recorded in the flooding regarded as the worst in decades.
Mr Jirake told reporters that he returned to his home only to find a new occupant.
“This morning I visited my house. It is still inundated with the flood waters above my waist. There is now a hippopotamus in the house,” he said.
“I hope that when it is tired, it may leave my home. If there is any other way of dealing with the problem, the authorities need to pursue that because it is beyond my abilities.”
The co-ordinator of National Emergency Management Agency in north-central Nigeria, Abdussalam Muhammad says the agency is working hand in hand with the Benue state government and other relevant agencies to ensure the flood victims return to their homes. He however said it was not yet safe for people to go back to their houses because of the presence of the dangerous animals.
“Presently there are crocodiles and snakes as well as other dangerous animals brought in by the floodwaters that are living in those houses, so, if the people return, it will be harmful to them and they will put their lives at risk,” he said.
Similar situations have been reported in the towns of Makurdi, Agatu, Logo and Adoka.