As communities grapple with the devastating effect of flooding in some parts of Kogi state, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has made a passionate appeal to the federal government to aid the state government in relief materials.
The minister who made this call at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday, also expressed fear of a possible outbreak of communicable diseases if urgent steps are not taken to ameliorate the suffering of the people.
While highlighting the importance of the Lokoja/Abuja expressway as a major link between the north and southern part of the country, Aliyu lamented that significant man hours are being wasted on the road due to the heavy traffic gridlock caused by the flood.
In her words; “Access to shops and hospitals are by canoes and ferry boats. Houses are submerged to the roof-top, while most smaller buildings are completely submerged.
“We fear an outbreak of diseases. We need medical attention. Some have no food or clean drinking water.
“As it is, from Koton Karfe area before the bridge, commuters spend more than 11 hours on that stretch with no food and water.”
The minister while commending the state government’s decision of evacuating persons living along the low plains, called for urgent federal intervention before the flood get to the upper land as it is already threatening.
“Some areas that are very deep, they had to evacuate them to the upper land your excellency, but even at that, it keeps coming. As of yesterday, the level has increased.
“Your Excellency, may I use this opportunity to draw your attention and the attention of the federal government to seek support for the people of Kogi State and Kogi State itself,” she appealed.
Aliyu, who also drew FEC attention to the danger the road poses to commuters, however, stated that several trucks could have plunged into the river, but for the insight and expertise of the drivers.
“Your Excellency, this is one of the gateway cities and the major road that links the north and south. This portends danger especially for passerby who may not be conversant with the area, like the luxurious bus operators, because the bridge has been submerged in the last three to four days and that in itself is scary”.
The minister adds; “This is the reason I call your attention and the attention of FEC as I also seek the support of my sister, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, who has always been there for areas in dire need, to also look into this for quick intervention.
“Your Excellency, this, I wish to bring to your attention, that it is a looming danger, from disease outbreak to death, as we have already recorded four casualties”.
S.A Media To FCT Minister of State
October 6, 2022.