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Flood: Lawmakers urge Buhari to declare state of emergency in Bayelsa

Reps ask FG to auction of police barracks over poor maintenance

The Bayelsa State caucus in the National Assembly has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare state of emergency in the south-south state being ravaged by a flood disaster.

The caucus, comprising Senators and members of the House of Representatives made the call while addressing journalists at the National Assembly complex in Abuja on Monday.

Frederick Agbedi, a member of the House who spoke on behalf of the caucus, lamented the multi-faceted challenges confronting Bayelsans, as occasioned by the perennial flood that has sacked homes and entire communities.

Agbedi said Bayelsa is not just the worse affected, but one that has been completely severed from the rest of the country as a result of the complete erosion across several sections of the East-West Road.

He commended Buhari and Governor Douye Diri for their timely intervention and show of
concern at the devastation caused by the floods in the state by condoling with families that have lost lives, and directing agencies to offer all assistance to the people.

“Guided by the untold suffering this has spelt on our people, we hereby empathise with all victims across the state, assuring that as representatives of the people, we are in unison, working assiduously in partnership with relevant ministries, departments and agencies to bring succour to the affected populace,” he said.

“We call on ministries, departments and agencies such as the National Emergency Management Agency; National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons; and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, And Social Development for their considered immediate intervention with medicines, foodstuffs and other relief materials.

Read also: NLNG declares force majeure as flooding disrupt supplies

“Consequent upon the above, we urge Bayelsans to be more united and cooperate with all intervention measures taken by the State Government and Federal Ministries and Agencies, while expressing greater trust in God, as we believe that, just like in the days of Noah, even this shall come to pass,” the lawmaker said.

Agbedi said though, the president had given orders to the agencies to act, it was their duties as lawmakers to re-echo it to ensure the needs of the people were attended to, adding that natural disasters were always overwhelming and not as if the state did not heed the warning of the Nigeria Metrological Agency (Nimet).

He said: “As to the question of whether the State paid dead ears to the alert from Nimet and other federal agencies, I think, it’s wrong to allude to such a claim. The fact remains that as a nation, we have always been ill-prepared for this kind of situation. As a government, we are aware that the state government took certain steps including opening drainages and carnal to ensure that there was free flow of water assuming this happens but I want to say that nobody can exactly take control of a natural disaster.

“This is a natural disaster that is beyond any human making, be it state or federal government and so I don’t think that we are here to apportion blame. The fact remains that when a natural disaster occurs, what are the remedies? And that is what we have called on the federal government to do.

“As federal legislators, once the President has made such a statement, it is our duty to re-echo it and emphasize it and further give an additional call to the agencies to react as soon as possible so that they can reduce the sufferings of our people. This is not the time to apportion blame but to attend to the needs or sufferings of the people.”