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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Flood Ravages 4,885 Houses In Ogun, FG Exonerates Cameroon

The Federal Government, through the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has said that the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon was not responsible for the flooding that has devastated parts of Nigeria.

This comes as the government reported that the recent flooding in Ogun affected 4,885 households.

Adamu stated this during the ministry’s 2023 budget defence before the Senate in Abuja on Wednesday.

The flood, according to the minister, was caused by water flowing into the River Benue from tributaries such as the River Katsina-Ala and others due to heavy rain.

Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) raised the issue of floods in the country during the ministry’s budget defence and what efforts the ministry was making about it set the stage for the disagreement.

Aliero said, “There has been an insinuation that every year the Cameroonians inform us when they are releasing the water. Is that not true?”

Responding, Adamu said, “Yes, the dam releases water; sometimes it releases water without notice, and when they do that, it has an impact on communities downstream. It is not the main reason you have floods in this country. The tributaries of the river Benue are the main cause. And this year, the rains have been unprecedented.

“The transboundary waters that even come into this country from the rivers Niger and Benue constitute only 20 per cent of the freshwater that flows into the country.”

Ogun’s 4,885 households

The Director–General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, on Wednesday, said that no fewer than 4,885 households were affected by the recent flooding in Ogun.

This was disclosed in Abeokuta during the presentation of relief materials by the agency to the state government for distribution to flood victims.

Represented by the Director, Special Duties, NEMA, Dr Bandele Onimode, Ahmed said the assessment conducted recently by the agency revealed the statistics.

“The result of the assessment indicated that 4,885 households were affected by the flood,” he said.


Bayelsa governor’s intervention

The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has taken steps to arrest the sudden rise in the price of food items and petroleum products in the state as a result of the massive flooding.

To this end, he has held separate meetings with the state chapters of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Petroleum Owners Association of Nigeria, and market union leaders in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

A statement on Wednesday by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said he announced the setting up of two committees comprising government officials and marketers and traders respectively.

Diri said the meetings were convened to address the arbitrary increase in the price of petroleum products and goods in the state, stating that the government would step in effectively to alleviate the hike.

According to him, the government got worried when it received reports that a litre of premium motor spirit was being sold for N800, above the approved pump price of N180.

Genocide against Nigeria

Also reacting, a monarch, the Ovie of Idjerhe kingdom in Delta State, His Royal Majesty, Monday Whiskey, Udurhie 1, has described the massive flood that has killed over 600 people across the country as genocide against the people of Nigeria by Cameroon.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Ovie said, “This is a serious national disaster. I don’t see any reason why the Nigerian government should not sue the Cameroon government or individual states affected by the flooding should not sue the Cameroon government with over 600 deaths recorded in Nigerian communities with property worth trillions of naira destroyed as a result of the heavy flooding.

“This is genocide. This is not a flood. If the water is open to wipe away Nigerians and Nigeria, then we must as a country resist it. “

 Japan’s condolences

The Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, has sympathised with the President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over rising cases of floods across the country.

Kishida message is contained in a letter to Buhari, a statement signed by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, revealed on Wednesday.

The statement was titled “Japanese Prime Minister sends condolences to President Buhari over severe floods.”

The letter partly read, ‘’On behalf of the government and the people of Japan, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives and their bereaved families.’’

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