As raging flood continues to wreak havoc in Yenagoa and other communities across the country, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has urged the Federal Government to declare a national emergency in the state as well as other parts of the country.
Diri made the announcement during an emergency security council meeting at Government House in Yenagoa.
He stated that the meeting was called to brainstorm with security agencies in order to assess the situation and seek ways to mitigate the disaster’s impact.
According to a statement issued yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor bemoaned the magnitude of this year’s flooding, which he noted had surpassed that of 2012.
The statement quoted the governor as saying: “This year’s flooding has surpassed that of 2012, which is the highest we have witnessed so far. It has become a security emergency.”
The state’s helmsman also noted that flooding had severely impacted communities, homes and road infrastructure, cutting off the state from neighbouring states of Rivers and Delta.
“As we speak, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called off its strike; but as universities are reopening, our own state university cannot open because the only road linking the university has been broken into three parts.”
Worried by the flooding, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), South-South Zone, has also tasked Federal and state governments on urgent dredging of River Niger and cleaning of blocked water channels in the region.
Vice President of PFN, South-South, Apostle Zilly Aggrey, while decrying the level of devastation caused by floods, noted, in particular, that the East-West road has been cut off completely.
The cleric, who is also the founder and General Overseer, Royal House of Grace International Church, made the call, yesterday, in Port Harcourt while announcing the postponement of the 30th anniversary of the church due to the devastation caused by the flood.
He said he would not be celebrating, dancing, eating and making merry, while flood displaced communities, with many lives lost.
Recall that six persons reportedly lost their lives and while four Rivers councils were sacked by flood. On how to check flooding, Aggrey said: “Can’t we dredge River Niger? Can’t we get powerful machines that can cut grassesin our waterways, that have blocked most of the water channels?
Meanwhile, flood has reportedly killed eight persons in Ndokwa East and Isoko councils of Delta State. The highest death so far was recorded at Ndokwa East Council with six deaths recorded, followed by Isoko North and South, with one death each, making a total of eight deaths.
The chairman, Ndokwa East Council, Juan Amacheee Governor, in a statement through one of the councillors, Barth Ozah, at the weekend, said: “We have recorded six deaths in the council with the entire areas flooded beyond what anyone would have imagined.
Also, Special Assistant, Media to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Fidelis Egugbo, has urged the Federal Government to take steps to address the annual flood ravaging communities and farmlands in the country.
Egugbo, accompanied by former Chairman, Delta State Council of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Chief Ifeanyi Obi, made the call, yesterday, while inspecting the damage caused by flood in communities. He noted that the yearly flood would lead to most people abandoning farming if not checked.
“This is worst than the flood of 2012. It is unfortunate that the Federal Government is yet to find solutions to the flood and it is affecting the farmers and in the long run food sufficiency in the country.”