Police arrest 18 over Fulani-Gwari clash in Abuja

The police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have arrested 18 suspects in connection with last weekend violent clash between Fulani herdsmen and Gwari communities in Gwako village in Gwagwalada area council.

The Federal Capital Police Chief; Mr Adenrele Shinaaba told Channels Television in Abuja that the suspects have given useful information to the police and investigations are near completion.

On its part, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated that although some of the victims have been released from the hospital while a four year old boy died yesterday at the camp as a result of inadequate medical treatment.

At the Internally Displaced Peoples’ (IDPs’) camp within the University of Abuja, workers of the National Emergency Management Agency were seen trying to move the displaced people to a new location provided by the University authority until a counter directive was given by the police to stop the plan for security reasons.

Complaints of disorderliness and open defecation were made by the IDPs around the school premises.

Inspite of this, the head of rescue team; Mr Lugard Slaku says there is no cause for alarm and that the relief materials are adequate.

The vice-chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Rarer association; Mr Abubakar Sulaiman also disclosed that some of those hospitalised have been discharged as he also confirmed the death of the four year old boy.

The police have given assurance that its investigations will help to fish out the perpetrators and prevent further crisis.

Lagos Fire Cracker Explosion: About 20 Buildings To Be Demolished

About 20 buildings have been pencilled down for integrity test and possible demolition after Wednesday’s fire cracker explosion and inferno at Jankara market area of Lagos Island.

A number of buildings affected by the explosion were pulled down hours after the explosion and more are lined up for a similar feature.

Five buildings were totally destroyed in the explosion and another three were partially touched.

Some shop owners in the famous Jankara market have already begun moving their goods to another location as they are unsure of what will become of their buildings after the test.

An official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, had earlier confirmed to Channels TV that “The use of residential buildings for both residential and commercial use, which is against the Building Code of Nigeria, complicates the rescue operations of the fire fighters.”

Jankara market is located in the heart of the densely populated Lagos Island market where massive structures of three to four storey buildings are built inches away from each other.

Fire crackers popularly known as banger are major features of celebrations during Christmas and New Year across Nigeria.

Meanwhile, NEMA has declared that the Lagos State Authorities would take over the control of the site while the state’s Commissioner for Home Affairs has called for residents in the state to assist government in curbing the spate of disasters.

Some form of order has been restored in Jankara market, as the crowd are now controlled and put behind the barricades to allow relevant agencies perform their duties without any hindrance.

Our correspondent who was at the scene on the second day, observed that some fire crackers are still going off.

FEC approves N14billion contract for Bayelsa Airport

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved contracts for the construction of the terminal building, control tower and power house at the Bayelsa Airport in Yenagoa, the state capital for the sum of N13.912 billion.

An airport control tower under construction

According to the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, “Bayelsa state as an oil producing state is a major hub in the country and needs an airport to serve the needs of the people.”

The airport, he further explained is expected to enhance the movement of people and goods in the region.

The oil producing Bayelsa State, is President Goodluck Jonathan’s state of origin.

NEMA’s N3.4billion air ambulance

The council also at Wednesday’s meeting approved the purchase of one air ambulance jet with medical evacuation configuration for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for immediate medical assistance and evacuation of people whenever disaster strikes in any part of the country.

The director general of the agency Mr Mohammed Sidi who briefed state house correspondents after the meeting said the aircraft will cost $23 million (N3, 450 000 000).

According to him, the approval follows a memo by the President to the effect that the recent increase in natural and human induced disasters across the country exacerbated the loss of lives due to poor immediate emergency services.

The council meeting was presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo in the absence of President Goodluck Jonathan who is attending the D-8 summit in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The council also passed the framework for an integrated infrastructure development plan for Nigeria and also approved the setting up of an advisory council for the Ministry of Niger Delta to co-ordinate the activities of all agencies that have anything to do in the Niger delta

The road sector got once again attracted plenty of attention with contracts awarded for the Okene-Benin, Abuja-Lokoja and the Kano-Maiduguri expressway.

The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, explained that the federal government will take advantage of the dry season to execute the road projects.

The council also commiserated with President Jonathan on the death of his younger brother and prayed to God to give the First Family the fortitude to bear the loss.

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VIDEO: Two sisters killed in another building collapse in Lagos

Two sisters have been confirmed dead with their mother injured after a two storey building collapsed in Jakande Estate, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos.

The siblings, Toyin and Bukola Coker -both female in their late 20’s-lived with their mother, who sustained injuries at Flat 4, Block N20 of the collapsed building.

According to eyewitness account,  the building caved in at about 12 midnight killing the sisters and leaving their mother with serious injuries.

A picture of the late sisters obtained by Channels TV

Their bodies have been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital mortuary.

Residents within the estate told Channels TV that the building had showed signs of weakness and one of the tenants had just moved out.

The South-West Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Iyiola Akande, confirmed that there are no more bodies under the building’s rubble.

The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has ordered occupants of structures near the collapsed building to vacate their premises within the next 48 hours.

This is about the fifth building collapse in Lagos this year alone.

Nigeria’s worst flood kills 363, displaces 2.1 million people – NEMA

The flood disaster that was recently witnessed across Nigeria has been described as the worst in at least half a century, killing 363 people and affecting over 7 million people.

According to figures released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Monday, the flooding which began in July  has displaced 2.1 million people.

The agency said 7.7 million people were affected by the flood between July 1 and October 31 and that 18,282 people have been injured.

Seasonal flash floods are often experienced after heavy tropical rains, but the sheer scale of the devastation recorded this year has shocked everyone.

President Goodluck Jonathan last month called the flooding, which has submerged parts of the south, a “national disaster” but said it would not trigger a food crisis.

Flooding in the oil rich Niger Delta, has disrupted oil production to the tune of around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) – more than a fifth of nation’s oil output – according to the Department of Petroleum Resources.

A cocoa industry body, last month predicted that cocoa output would fall far short of a 300,000 tonne target because of excessive rain.

State and Local government must establish emergency agency-NEMA boss

In the wake of the disappointing rescue efforts for people affected by the flood disaster across the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for state and local government to establish Emergency Agency at their levels, because they are closer to the people.

This will enhance a prompt rescue mission to save lives whenever disasters strike. This was made known by NEMA’s Director of Search and Rescue, Mr Charles Otegbade on our breakfast show, Sunrise.

Responding to why the delay in rescuing people affected by the flood in Kogi which displaced almost a million people and claimed a number of lives, Mr Otegbade, stated that the agency got hold of the flood disaster in Ebaji (Kogi state) by 4PM and that the rescue team arrived at the disaster spot by 10AM the following day.

“We (NEMA) are a national body and the state and local government emergency agencies should have swung into action before our arrival because they are the closest to the people” he stated.

He also noted that the staff of national emergency agency had to be deployed from Benue state, which was already ravaged by the flood before the call came from to Kogi state.

“So the state and local governments must create these local agencies to quickly assist people whenever a disaster happens.”

He called for increased funding for the agency as well as other agencies that could assist in rescue operations.

“Idly, the Federal Fire Service should be the agency that will lead the rescue mission for flood disasters but because the Fire Service is in a dire state, they cannot do anything, all of these agencies need to developed by funding and manpower to enhance the rescue operations when needed.”

He added that “NEMA is essentially a strategic coordinating agency” as he quickly quipped that “but that does not precludes us (NEMA) from the operational tactics at the operational level.”

“NEMA should have just coordinated the efforts of every other agency if they were adequately equipped with equipment and manpower.”

Mr Otegbade stated that over 6,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are currently accommodated in IDP camps in Kogi state.

The rescue expert claimed the excessive rainfall and release of water from the dam in Cameroun were responsible for the flood.

“What we expressing is the downward movement of the accumulated water from River Niger and River Benue to Delta state” as he spoke about the flood disaster that has also affected the Niger-Delta.

 

Series of explosions rock Zaria

Series of bomb explosions have rocked the icty of Zaria in Kaduna state, killing at least 3 people and injuring several others.

According to eyewitness account, the blast which took place at Tukur Tukur area near Barewa College, occurred when soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) stormed some buidings in the area, which were inhabited by suspected members of Boko Haram sect.

Unconfirmed reports claim that residents were warned to evacuate their homes ahead of the military operation, following a tip-off.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also confirmed another explosion close to the Islamic boarding school in the Gaskiya area of Zaria.

According to a statement from the NEMA spokesman Yusahau Shuaib, two of the suspects in the Gaskiya bomb attack were shot dead by security forces, while the injured victims have been taken to hospitals for treatment.

The boarding school is run by prominent Salafist cleric Awwal Adam Albani.

The Commissioner of Police in Kaduna State, Mr Olufemi Adenaike, confirmed to Channels Television that the operation in Zaria was an attack by members of the JTF to get rid of terrorists who were making explosives in the building.

He further noted that the operation was successful as the security operatives recorded no casualty while the terrorist were unable to fight back, while the operation lasted.

 

Flood: Oshiomhole demands expedient use of Ecological Fund

The Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has called on the Federal Government to act fast and make judicious use of the National Ecological Fund in the management of raging flood disasters in the country.

The governor who made the call when the Director General; National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Alhaji Sani Sidi visited Edo State to assess the devastation caused by the flood disaster across the state.

Some of the local government affected by the flood in the state include, Etsako Central, Etsako East and Esan South East. The emergency boss noted that the state government will collaborate with state government to provide a solution.

Governor Oshiomhole noted that the situation in the flooded communities caused by the overflow of the River Niger is getting worse because more communities are being affected and the water level is still rising.

He also stated that there are long term implications as farmlands have been destroyed, domestic animals have been killed and he affirmed that the Federal Government ought to do more than it has done.

The NEMA DG commiserated with the government and people of the state on the losses, both in human and material resources, adding that the flood which has occurred in 23 states of the federation are a pointer to the growing intensity of climate related disasters.

Emergency works to commence on flooded Lokoja-Abuja highway

The Federal Ministry of Works will begin emergency work that will lead to the opening of the flooded Lokoja- Abuja highway.

This follows a directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Ministers of Works, Environment and Water resources to visit Kogi state and assess the impact of damage caused by flooding in the state.

The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen gave the assurance of efforts to open up the highway, while the Environment Minister, Hadiza Mailafia, commended the state government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for efforts to reduce the effects of the flood.

Describing the flooding as a national disaster and a ‘force majure’, Mr Onolememen noted that the level of water seen in the past two weeks has not been seen in the last 100 years with a resultant increase of 2metres in the water level of the affected areas.

Receiving the delegation of Ministers, the Kogi State governor, Mr Idris Wada, lamented that the flooding is “drawing back the development of the state.”


Also speaking, the Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia decried the settlement of people along the flood plains which she claimed were observed from aerial view. She enjoined state and local governments to desist from allowing people settle on flood plains.

Meanwhile the chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change has condemned the federal government’s handling of the flooding that has devastated several states in the country.

Mr. Eziuche Ubani said the nation needs to take concrete steps to address what is clearly an increasing manifestation of climate change.

He called for the setting up of a Climate Change Commission to coordinate government’s effort on the phenomenon.


The Senate President has also called for a collaborative effort by all government ministries and agencies, noting that apparent failure to tackling the flood has revealed the nation’s unpreparedness.

He also noted that “asking ministers to visit Kogi will not address the problem” he added in reference to an order from the President to some ministers to visit the state for an on the spot assessment of the flood disaster.

Meanwhile the Senate Committee on Environment visited Kogi state in the early hours of Tuesday to see things for themselves.

Senate calls for supplementary budget to address flood disaster

The Senate has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to send a supplementary budget to the National Assembly to address the immediate needs of the victims affected by the ravaging floods across the country.

The Senate took the resolution on Tuesday, after considering a motion on the menace of flood in the central part of the country that claimed a number of lives and displaced over a million people.

The motion for an urgent need of the supplementary budget to support the affected state government was moved by Senator Danladi Sankara.

The Senator drew the attention of the Senate to the flood which has ravaged many states in the country claiming lives and rendering thousands of Nigerians homeless.

The floods have ravaged communities along the River Niger, River Benue, Cross River as well as Gongola River and Iyere River.

The unprecedented flooding has been alleged to be caused by the release of stored water in a dam by Cameroonian authorities. Others attribute it to climate change, but the reality is that many are unprepared for it despite numerous warnings by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), earlier in the year.

Presiding over the session, Senate president David Mark expressed his displeasure with the manner in which the disaster is being handled despite NIMET’s warnings.

The lawmakers also lamented that as much the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) tried to contain the situation, the rescue agency was ill-equipped to manage disasters.

They therefore urged President Jonathan to forward a supplementary budget to the national assembly to address the immediate needs of the victims affected by the flood across the country.

They also urged the federal government to draw up a national standard operating procedure to respond to such disasters in the future.

Over 10,000 people displaced in Kogi, Benue flood-NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed relief materials to the camps where over 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from Kogi and Benue states are taking refuge after they were sacked from their homes with the ravaging flood across north central region of Nigeria.

A technical team from the agency visited areas devastated by the floods along the banks of Rivers Benue and Niger and their tributaries in states over the weekend to assess the damage and identify suitable intervention required to address the problem.

According to the team, most of the affected areas remained flooded with most of the displaced persons resorting to taking shelter in four camps.

The flood in Benue state is said to affect the communities in Makurdi, the state capital, along the river belt, while about nine local government areas were affected in Kogi State, with Ibaji Local Government Area almost submerged.

Other local government areas affected as Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Omala, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Igalamela and Lokoja, where property, including hotels, residential buildings, offices and fishing communities along the confluence of Rivers Benue and Niger have all been submerged.

NEMA’s Director of Planning, Research and Forecasting, Charles Agbo, during a meeting with  Kogi State governor, Wada Idris, warned of prolonged flooding as more water would still be released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon and Kainji Dam with the intensifying rains.

He also urged the state government to enforce the standard regulation on urban planning and development as well as permanently relocate communities in the flood plains to safer locations.

“Even after the flood, most of the submerged houses may become too weak and no longer be safe for habitation, in addition to the potential health hazards from the disaster,” he warned.

“Therefore, the states governments must to rise up to their responsibilities to the affected communities as the Federal Government, through NEMA, would provide necessary support the displaced persons.”

The governor expressed concern of the Federal Government towards the flood situation and requested support to reinforce the efforts by the state government to assist the displaced persons, while urging NEMA and other relevant organizations to identify measures to mitigate future occurrence of the flood.

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.”