Uduaghan recruits Aki and Paw Paw to motivate flood victims

The Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan on Monday explained the rationale behind inviting Nollywood actors, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme, popularly known as Aki and Paw Paw, to visit flood victims in the state as motivational speakers.

Aki and Paw Paw were reportedly present during the inauguration of the 12-man committee on the management of Federal Government fund released to the state over the flood disaster and the Post-Flooding Rehabilitation of Victims, headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Francis Tabai, at Government House, Asaba, by Mr Uduaghan.

The governor said he invited the duo after he visited the Institute of Continuing Education, where some flood victims’ were camped on a certain day and discovered that the displaced person, who were watching a Nollywood movie, were so engrossed that they barely gave him attention when he walked in.

“As I walked in, half of the population were watching television; you know we provided a giant television for them,” he said.

“I tried to attract their attention. Some looked at me and greeted me, but they turned to continue watching the television. When I looked at the television, I saw it was Aki, Paw Paw and Ibu that they were watching.

“You see, because they were watching Aki, Paw Paw and Ibu, they forgot their pains. For them, these Nollywood actors were helping them to ease their pains. That was why I invited them to go to the different camps as motivational speakers because the victims require a lot of motivation, while they are preparing to go back home,” the governor added.

He said the victims needed psychological support, adding that he was optimistic that Aki and Paw Paw would provide it for them.

“That is why they are here as motivational speakers. I believe that the few minutes they will spend will ease the pains of our IDPs. Those who have ability to ease those in pains, please help, it is not about food alone for the victims – that will not ease their pains.”

Hoard grains at your own peril, FCT Minister of State tells farmers

The minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory; Olajumoke Akinjide has been reacting to the news that some farmers may be hoarding grains across the country to cause food crisis following the flooding that ravaged some parts of the country.

The minister while paying sallah homage trip to Preisdent Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, also leading a delegation of FCT residents and clerics said that hoarders will do so at their own peril because the country has a enough grains to release at strategic times.

She appealed to Nigerians whether Muslims or Christians to be their brothers keepers an avoid profiteering at other peoples misfortune. She said that the Federal Capital Territory administration will give a human face to issues that concerns the residents wherever they are.

The president re-assured that the Federal Government had enough grains in the National Strategic Reserve which would be released into the system.

He said, “Nigerians should not be afraid that there may be hunger in the land or shortage in food supply as a result of the food incident. We have enough grains in our strategic reserves. The percentage of the farmlands that have been affected by the recent flood is not so high.

“We have enough grains in the National Strategic Reserves that we will release if the nation is threatened by food shortage. But we are not threatened. The people hoarding grains are doing so at their risks and not in the best interest of the country.”

Flood update: Environmentalist calls for post impact assessment

An Environmentalist, Idowu Salawu on Thursday said the states that received monies from the Federal Government to ameliorate their flooding problems should spend part of that fund in conducting post impact assessment studies.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Salawu cautioned the State governors that the monies should not be spent on frivolous jamborees but must be targeted at helping those displaced by the floods.

“The money is not for jamboree,” he said.

“If I am one of the lawmaker or policy maker saddled with the responsibility of managing this fund, I will take 10 percent of that money to carry out post impact assessment study of the flood impacted areas,” he added.

FEC says flooding is national emergency; opens by-passes on Lokoja-Abuja road

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has described the flooding in Kogi State and other parts of the country as a national emergency and calls on all Nigerians to stop blaming the government and assist it in the provision of succour to the affected peoples.

Aerial view images of flooding around river Niger in Lokoja

The Minister for the Environment, Hadiza Melafia who spoke to state house correspondents after the council meeting said that the flooding being experienced in the country does not in any way fall into what can be described as man-made describing it as a natural phenomenon happening everywhere in the world.

Ms Melafia said the presidential committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan have visited seven states to ascertain the extent of impact of the flood on life and infrastructure and to identify immediate areas of intervention.

“The most devastating that we have witnessed is that of Kogi State where we have a major road completely made impassable.

“We have also seen a lot of infrastructure submerged and witnessed very traumatising experiences by people that were affected,’’ she said.

She said among the consequences of the flooding was huge loss of farmlands which might likely pose a threat to food security.

The minister said academic calendar was affected, people were displaced and there was likelihood of health challenges in the affected areas.
She underscored the need for Nigerians to make concerted efforts towards addressing the challenges of climate change.

She said the River Niger which over-flew its bank in Lokoja flows from Guinea Conakry through the northern region where there was acute desertification.

By-passes on Lokojo-Abuja road

Meanwhile, following the reports of a survey on the Kogi flooding by the presidential committee, the Federal Executive Council will on Thursday open a by-passes as a diversion for vehicles to drive through the Lokoja-Abuja road.

The Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenen, disclosed this to State House correspondents, after this week’s Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

Mr Onolemenen said the bye-passes which had been created around the flooded area would be opened to motorists from Thursday.
He said government had engaged construction giants in the country to create the bye-passes as a temporary measure to ease the suffering of commuters.

“What we’ve been doing since yesterday morning is that around the flooded area, we identified a bye-pass which we have created.

“As at this morning, we have attained about 60 per cent completion. From the way we are going, by tomorrow, the road should be opened to motorists.

“We have done a diversion at those drainages and vehicles will be able to now drive normally through this bye-pass without having recourse to canoes on our roads as a result of the flooding that happened.

“For us, that was a national priority because we needed to open that particular transport corridor so that movement between the southern states and the northern states will not be impaired.

“We have done that and I want Nigerians to be assured that government is with them in this situation and that government will continue to do all in its power to ensure that the pains are reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.

Environmentalist recommends buffer dams as solution to flooding

An Environmentalist, Idowu Salami on Wednesday recommended that the Federal Government should review the design of the variouse dams in Nigeria and identify areas where buffers can be constructed.

Mr Salami, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said the recent flooding in Kogi state and other parts of Nigeria was a result of heavy rainfall as well as the release of water from some hydroelectricity dams.

In the video below, the environmentalist offered several other solution that can help prevent devastating floods.

Flooding: Saraki recommends more funding for NEMA

The Chairman Senate Committee on Environment, Bukola Saraki on Tuesday recommended that more fund should be allocated to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enable the agency provide succour for Nigerians affected by disasters.

Speaking against the backdrop of the recent flooding that ravaged parts of Kogi State, Mr Saraki said NEMA currently does not have the resources to cater for the over half a million persons that have been displaced by the flood.

Watch the video below for the full interview:

 

VIDEO:Flood ravages Nigerian central and eastern cities

Thousands of people across the country have been rendered homeless by the recent floods ravaging the north-central part of Nigeria.

The overflow of River Niger has caused massive flooding in Kogi, Edo, Niger and Anambra states, displacing over a million people, destroying properties worth millions of Naira including highway road and bridges, as a number of lives are reported lost.

The thousands that are lucky to be alive are now internally displaced people (IDP).

The director-general, Niger State Emergency Agency (NSEMA), Alhaji Mohammed Shaba has declared that “the flood has overwhelmed the state government.”

The flood has also divided the country into two parts as the water flooded the Lokoja-Abuja road, making it impossible for travellers to move from the southern part to the northern part of the country.

Many travellers were shocked when on getting to Lokoja, they discovered that they could only get to the other side by canoe.

However the director general of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET ) Dr Anthony Anuforom, noted that “the worst is not over yet.”

NIMET however says more rains are expected which would likely cause more floods in different parts of the country.

The meteorological agency warns that the high level of flooding currently spread across most parts of the central states will soon find its way to the southern part of Nigeria; this is according to the Nigerian meteorology

Floods kill eight; displace over 1 million in Kogi

Eight persons have been killed and about one million displaced from their home in Kogi State by the recent flooding that have ravage the state due to the release of Kainji and Shiroro dams of the River Niger, an official said on Monday.

The Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) operations in Abuja, Ishaya Isah, who in company of some members of the National Assembly from Kogi West visited one of the relieve camp in Lokoja, confirmed that about eight persons have lost their lives as a result of the flood while over 332 communities were washed away by the flood.

“About nine local governments were affected by the waters and over 332 communities have suffered this devastation of the flood. People lost their household utensils, their houses and over 70 percent of them lost all their farm products,” he said.

Mr Isah said that the eight persons that died were killed when a boat cap sided in Banda, a community which is about ten minutes’ drive away from Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.


Abuja road blocked

The Lokoja-Abuja road wish have a free flow of traffic for quite sometimes now have been put on hold as a result of the flood, water from river Niger has over flown and move across the road in Banda village making it difficult for vehicles heading to Abuja or returning from the FCT to the eastern part of the states to move.

Some commuters trapped on either side of the road told Channels Television’s reporter that they have been there in the last two days without head ways. Getting out of Banda some commuters use canoes to get to the other side of the river while others ride on commercial motorcycle to get to Banda.

Some travellers said the state government should take a proactive step in putting a temporary solution to the situation by inviting an engineer to drain out the water.

Alternative routes
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said it has worked out alternative routes to and from Abuja to lessen the agony of motorists, following the temporary closure of the flooded Lokoja-Abuja Road.
In a statement on Monday, the Deputy Corps Public Education Officer of the commission, Bisi Kazeem urged motorists driving from Lagos and wishing to use Okene-Lokoja-Abuja route, to divert to Okene-Ajaokuta-Ayangba-Ankpa-Makurdi Lafia-Akwanga-Abuja route.
Those coming from the South East should use Otukpa-Makurdi route, and those driving from Abuja to Lokoja should use Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi-Ankpa-Okene route.
He said the commission had also deployed more personnel in those routes to forestall traffic gridlock.

Flood Alert: NEMA orders immediate evacuation of communities along River Niger

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Monday ordered an immediate evacuation of citizens living along the River Niger plains.

In a press statement issued by the agency’s Head of Relations, Yushau Shuaib, NEMA said the order “comes because the dams have attained their highest water levels in 29 years which is unprecedented in the history of Jebba and Kainji hydroelectric power dams.”

Mr Shuaib said the threat has created a high risk of imminent flooding in the downstream of the river.

NEMA asked the residents of the communities along the river plain to move to higher grounds for safety.

The states at risk of the flood are Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Anambra and Delta.

The statement reads: “Already the agency has notified the affected states to take the necessary precautionary measures by relocating people from the flood prone areas and activated the National Contingency Plan as well as alerted all stakeholders to take necessary actions in line with their various mandates.

“The states are to ensure compliance with the threat in order to avert imminent loss of lives and properties that would certainly arise in the event of flooding.

“Furthermore, information available indicates that the gauge for monitoring the flow of water in the river has already exceeded the maximum height by over one meter.

“A rapid assessment team comprising officers of NEMA and the stakeholders has left for Jebba and Kainji to further inspect the situation.”