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Buhari sends delegation to Bauchi over rainstorm

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• Congratulates prof Okonjo at 90
• JED laments massive havoc in affected area

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to immediately lead a Federal Government delegation to Bauchi in the aftermath of the rainstorm, which destroyed about 1,505 houses.

No fewer than eight persons have been confirmed dead while 120 others reportedly sustained various degrees of injury from the incident.

Azare, another major town in Bauchi State, was struck by a fire disaster that destroyed the Azare market a few days after.

The delegation, which also included Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, would undertake an assessment of the extent of damage caused by the disaster.

Already, NEMA has started mobilising relief items from its warehouses in Damaturu and Yola for distribution to those displaced by the windstorm.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said the relief materials were expected to reach Bauchi yesterday, while assessment was being conducted on the Azare fire incident.

In an earlier message on Monday, President Buhari extended his deepest sympathy to the victims and families of the windstorm and the fire incident.

“The nation stands in solidarity with their fellow countrymen at this difficult time, as they face the devastation with courage and fortitude,” the President said.

In another development, the President congratulated renowned professor of Mathematics and Economics and Obi of Ogwashi-Ukwu, Professor Chukwuka Okonjo, who turns 90 tomorrow.

He also joined the Ogwashi-Ukwu Community in Delta State, the Okonjo family, professional colleagues and friends to celebrate the scholar whose imprints on education in Nigeria and beyond remain indelible.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he extoled the sterling educational and leadership qualities of Prof. Okonjo who pursued knowledge with interest and vigour from his youthful days.

“Obtaining a first degree in mathematics as an external student and following up with two masters degrees in Economics and Statistics, as well as a doctorate in Mathematical Statistics, were no mean feat,” the statement reads.

He prayed the Almighty God to grant Okonjo longer life, more strength and good health to keep serving humanity.

Meanwhile, the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED) Plc, has debunked claims by those affected in last Saturday’s loss of houses and destruction of electricity polls and offices in Bauchi State that the rainstorm that caused the havoc was planned by JED officials.

The firm, which covers Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe and Benue states, said what happened was a natural phenomenon that did not take permission from anybody before it struck.

Addressing journalists in Jos yesterday, its Executive Director, Marketing, Verr Jibro, appealed to the affected customers to discountenance insinuations that the disruption of electricity supply was planned, as it took everybody by surprise.

He said all relevant stakeholders including the government, traditional rulers, organised customer groups and the general public, had been duly informed of the incident.

Jibro said the company had sent a delegation to the state government to engage its top officials of the immediate challenges they faced because the items destroyed were capital intensive.


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