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Abe seeks end to perennial flooding in Rivers

By Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
14 October 2022   |   1:18 am
Governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Rivers State, Magnus Abe, has expressed worry over perennial flooding that displaces residents.

Abe

Governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Rivers State, Magnus Abe, has expressed worry over perennial flooding that displaces residents.

He spoke just as flood victims in the Orashi region of the state appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike to ensure that the N1 billion he approved for emergency relief measures get to the victims. 

Some of the victims, in an interview yesterday with The Guardian, lamented that that similar aids in the past hardly reached the targets.

It was gathered that the councils were experiencing worse flooding, where over 20 communities have be submerged, with bridges, roads, farms and schools cut off.

Findings revealed that flooding, like what happened in 2012, has sacked communities, who are predominantly farmers from their ancestral homes and forced them to harvest their crops prematurely. 

One of the victims, Chief Emeka Wilfred, said: “We’re still battling to recover from the damages and losses in the past, and here is another one.  We are grateful for the donations but we request, most importantly, that aids and relief items should be monitored to ensure they get to us because past experience showed that the items were diverted.”

Wike had, on Wednesday, approved N1 billion for flood victims and set up a task force to coordinate the distribution of relief materials to affected communities, stressing that the N1 billion naira was to enable vulnerable families, particularly in Ahoada West and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni councils, which are the most impacted areas in the state, to cope with the flood, which has submerged their homes.

Abe, who spoke, yesterday, at the flag-off and dedication service of the SDP campaign at St. Paul Cathedral in Port Harcourt, commended Wike for the gesture but insisted on permanent solution. 

He said: “We must find a permanent solution to flood in Rivers State.  We cannot continue to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result. Every human challenge has a permanent solution. 

“We cannot keep giving mattresses and rice every year to flood victims. We cannot continue to do the same thing every time and expect a different result. 

“We will not play politics with everything. There are things that are beyond politics and so we commend Rivers State Government for the prompt response to the issue.”

On the issue of using public schools for political campaigns, Abe said the SDP would not fight anybody on the issue, but would rather build a united and prosperous Rivers State, where everyone would have the opportunity to prosper.

Earlier, the Bishop, Diocese of Niger Delta North, The Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, commended the SDP candidate for beginning his political campaign with a thanksgiving to God.

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