A large number of people stormed Kara, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Saturday to view the sudden appearance of plants which grew on a section of the popular Ogun River, with their phones and recording devices, while some went as far as walking over the water plants and praying.
Several eyewitnesses described the occurrence as “strange and mysterious,” as geological experts said that the plants were simply rapidly growing seaweed and that the incident was not extraordinary.
A visited the site on Saturday by a correspondent, observed that a significant expanse of the river had been carpeted by a massive layer of the vegetation as scores of residents, including children, were walking, playing and praying atop the plant-covered river.
A panel beater with a workshop located at the Kara riverbank, Michael Fagbenro, said those in the area began to notice the plants surface at about 8:00am on Friday.
“It started gradually; the plants were flowing with the river. But by 12pm, the water began to flow forcefully and brought a lot more plants. It accumulated at a very rapid rate.
“By Friday afternoon, it had completely covered the river. I have been here for over five years and this has never happened. It is obviously not normal. This is unbelievable. When I saw it, I was afraid because it is so strange,”he said.
A local trader, Christiana Monday-Egbu, who set up shop by the river over a year ago, said she and other workers at the site were fearful at the occurrence on Friday.
“It was around 10am when the water started gushing, carrying the plants with the waves. It wasn’t even raining when it started.
“People were startled when it started. It all happened so fast. I have never witnessed such a strange occurrence in my life. Everyone rushed out to watch with surprise,” she said.
Another Kara-based trader of over three years, Love Itoro, said prior to the strange development, canoes plied the river, conveying passengers, mostly traders, from one side to the other.
“When the plants started coming in large amounts, it blocked the boat and almost made it sink. The driver quickly came down onto the plants to help the passengers carry their meat. People from the other side then threw a rope and pulled the boat back to safety,” Itoro said.
Two other traders, Mercy and Blessing of Calabar extraction, said they were shocked and afraid when the incident occurred.
Mercy said, “I too was so scared because I have never seen something like this.” While Blessing added, “I saw someone lying down on the plants on Friday; I was so scared. I cannot believe how daring some people are.”