Nigerian News

Flood Impact Assessment: IYC Criticises Minister, Demands Probe

The Evangelist
November 6 2022
By Arodiegwu EZIUKWU

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has criticised the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, following her recent comments that Bayelsa is not among the top 10 states impacted by the flood.
The IYC President, Peter Igbifa, conveyed the position of the youth group in a statement issued to newsmen on Saturday in Yenagoa.
Igbifa described the minister’s statement as unbelievable, irresponsible, insensitive and provocative and called on Muhammadu Buhari to probe her handling of the disaster across the country.
Igbifa observed that the minister may have relied on an armchair statistics she generated from the comfort of her home and not on any field investigations, insisting that Farouq neither visited Bayelsa nor sent a team to assess the reality of flood situations in the state.
He said Farooq by her irresponsible comment had shown that she was more of a disaster than the flood and that she was either playing ethnic bias or dancing on the graves of those, who perished in Bayelsa during the flood.
Igbifa recalled that IYC had during the severity of the flood when all hope was lost in Bayelsa called on the Federal Government to send a presidential fleet to the state to rescue trapped victims.
He explained that Gov Douye Diri, was briefing the whole world about the magnitude of the flood and in one of the briefings cried out that the situation had overwhelmed him.
Igbifa contradicted the minister saying Bayelsa remained the most affected states as all the eight local government areas of the state were under water.
He said: “The entire state was under water. Houses were submerged to roofing levels, all farmlands were swept away, many people died including people from the same families. All public institutions, markets, schools, worship centres were all submerged.
“Bayelsa’s case remains peculiar and unfortunate. The state was cut off from the rest of the country and her neighbouring states because the flood submerged and destroyed the East-West road, the only road that leads to Bayelsa, from both the Delta and Rivers axis.
“There was humanitarian crisis already because food-bearing vehicles could not access the state. The situation was so terrible that sympathisers flew into the state to identify with the state.
“What exactly is the minister saying? Did she travel to the Mass or Pluto when all these things happened? Is she playing party or ethnic politics? We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the minister and how she handled the assignment he gave to her concerning the flood”.
Igbifa reminded the minister that Bayelsa remained one of the states sustaining the country economically and that the minister’s remarks showed the federal government failed to identify with the state in its most terrible time.
“If the flow of crude oil had been affected, if the flood had destroyed all the oil pipelines criss-crossing the state and damaged other oil installations, maybe, the minister would have ranked Bayelsa first.
“But maybe because it affected the Ijaw people and destroyed all their livelihoods only, that is why the minister chose to side with his people in the north. We won’t accept this obvious injustice, marginalisation and we are waiting for a concrete action from the Presidency against the minister, who has turned a disaster”

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