Falana deplores poor treatment of flood victims
Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has condemned what he considered poor treatment of flood victims across the federation.
He gave this condemnation, yesterday, at the convocation lecture of Augustine University, Ilara (AUI) Epe, and Lagos with the theme, ‘Remaking Nigeria: The Youth as Change Agents’.
The activist submitted stated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal Government did not ask the citizens to hold states to account for fund meant for building and equipping hospitals.
He said: “Instead of inciting citizens to demand explanation which will be ignored by state governments, the Federal Government should submit a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation of mismanagement of the Ecological Fund, which is a crime against humanity because it is responsible for the loss of many lives, displacement of millions of people and destruction of properties worth trillions of Naira.
“Before the proposed probe by the EFCC, the Federal Government should come to the aid of the affected state governments. However, the EFCC should probe the involvement of officials of the Federal Government and state governments.”
According to figures released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), more than two million people have been affected by flooding, with over 600 deaths. Properties worth trillions of naira have been destroyed, while several people have been cut off from trade and food supply.
The senior lawyer added that some states and councils have been completely submerged.
He continued: “The natural disaster has attracted the attention of world leaders like King Charles and Pope Francis, who have sent condolences to the government and people of Nigeria. The Biden administration has announced a donation of $1 million to victims of the disaster.
“Notwithstanding that the flood has plunged several communities in Nigeria into unprecedented devastation, the Federal Government has not deemed it fit to address the crisis.”
Falana lamented that government had failed to release money from the Ecological Fund to the affected states, adding that on their own part, the various state governments have equally “failed to provide relief materials for victims.”