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Bayelsa not among 10 most flooded states, minister replies Clark, other critics

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
04 November 2022   |   4:02 am
Federal Government, yesterday, declared that Bayelsa is not among the 10 most flood-devastated states in the country, contrary to widely held perception in some quarters.

Bayelsa Road damaged by flood … PHOTO: STATE HOUSE<br />

Federal Government, yesterday, declared that Bayelsa is not among the 10 most flood-devastated states in the country, contrary to widely held perception in some quarters.

This came as the Governor of state, Duoye Diri, recently criticised the Federal Government for allegedly failing to come to the aid of the state despite being the nation’s cash cow.

According to official statistics made available from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the number of deaths recorded per state, number of people displaced, number of injuries, houses damaged, farm lands per hectares damaged as well as the general population affected were some of the criteria used in assessing the states most affected.

In the 2022 flood data as of October 24, provided by the ministry, the death toll in Jigawa stood at 91, in Anambra 77 while in Kogi 471,991 persons were affected with zero death.

In all, 3,219,780 Nigerians were affected nationwide, while the number of displaced persons stood at 1,427,370 persons and the total deaths placed at 612.

The Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouk, made the revelation when she appeared during the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Reacting to the claim recently by the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, that as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, she was not humane over the treatment of areas hit by floods in Bayelsa and other parts of the South, she said it is Jigawa that is the most affected by the current floods.

Recall that Clark had said: “We have a humanitarian minister that is not humane, who was only active to carry out school feeding of schoolchildren who were confined to their homes during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“In such an urgent situation of ravaging flood, she has decided to maintain a disquieting quietness. Bodies like the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) were not able to take proactive measures. Where is the mother of the nation, the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari? Her fellow women are in deep agony, seeing their children dying of starvation and treatable minor illnesses because there is no medication.”

Responding, however, Farouk said the Ministry had intervened by taking relief materials to Bayelsa in collaboration with officials of the Nigerian Air Force.

Dismissing insinuations that she is not humane in handling humanitarian crisis, the minister described the allegation as untrue, noting that flood disaster is a national issue and that her ministry was carrying out its duty to the best of its ability.

“Merely looking at me, you know that I am humane,” she said.

The minister also disclosed an ongoing assessment of farmlands damaged with a view to compensating them.

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