I have watch and read several reports on the destruction of lives and properties by flood in some of the communities in Kogi and other States and I just can’t bear to watch the news anymore. I deeply and sincerely sympathize with the affected communities. Kogi State is now one of the worst hit states and towns, such as Lokoja, Onyedega, Idaho, Ajaokuta, Koton Karfe, etc are recording unprecedented levels of flooding with loss of life and property. Farm lands have been submerged and properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed. Many civil servants can no longer find their way to their various offices. Market women can no longer get to the market with their goods.
I could recall that the Federal agency had warned both governments and citizens in these States to take proactive measures to prevent loss of property and humans during the rainy season when it was predicted that floods would ravage the States. Precisely, National Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) had predicted that flood would affect 22 States and called on the states, local government and the residents in the floods plains to take precautions to mitigate against the devastating effects of flooding in the various areas.
However, despite the above warnings, it is most unfortunate that we still recorded loss of lives, destruction of millions of properties and even government’s poor response towards the disaster. No adequate camps for the displaced persons. It was also reported that some camps failed to meet basic minimum human conditions for protection, safety and habitation. It just goes to show that the States and local councils did little or no strategic planning towards mitigating the impacts of the predictions and no proactive measures were taken. It all seems that the government was caught unawares in all these. Regrettably, nothing concrete was done or is being done by government at all levels to cushion the effect of the devastating flood, which has ravaged homes, displaced hundreds and washed away farm lands. It is really sad!
I therefore use this medium to call on agencies such as the National Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social Development as well as socially responsible corporate entities and well-meaning Nigerians to come to the recuse of the victims. Going forward, I charge government at all level to ensure adequate plans and provisions are in place in a time like this which will guaranty the protection, safety and habitation of displaced persons and reduce the impact to the lowest minimum. The government should remember that the security/safety of lives and properties of the people is paramount and a duty bestowed on it by the Constitution.
To my fellow kogites, floods can wash away everything but cannot wash away the hope in your heart, strength and positivity you have. I pray to God to give you all the strength to fight out these tough times. I know you have lost a lot in these floods but I just pray that you have not lost the confidence in you for a better Nigeria and the faith in Almighty. Sending my warm sympathies to you in these disastrous times.
May God Bless and Heal Our Land!
SENATOR DINO MELAYE