The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, yesterday, has said that although, Bayelsa state is reeling with flood, it is not among the 10 most hit states.
She said Jigawa State, has recorded the highest number of deaths from the flood and is the number one most affected of the flood disaster.
However, the Bayelsa State government, has accused the Federal Government of failing the state in response to the flood that devastated the state.
Hajiya Sadiya also said her ministry was not aware of any $1 million donation or pledge by the United States as humanitarian aid for the flood victims in Nigeria.
She also said that the government has erected 44 temporary shelters in 22 states affected by the flood disaster and even evacuated those living within the areas that are prone to flood, adding that those who refused to heed the early warnings from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMET, were most hit in the devastation.
Haijiya Farouq also said at the 56th session of the state house briefing organized by the presidential communications team, that relief materials has been sent to the state of Bayelsa.
Earlier, the leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) had accused the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs of not being humane, as regards the treatment of areas hit by the floods in Bayelsa and other parts of the flood but said it was Jigawa that is the most affected.
Clark said: “We have a humanitarian minister that is not humane, who was only active to carry out school feeding of school children who were confined to their homes during the Covid-19 lockdown.”
Acknowledging that the entire Bayelsa State was affected, the minister said: “Almost all of Bayelsa, but it will also interest you to know that Bayelsa is not even among the 10 most hit. I think Jigawa is number one and we have taken intervention to Bayelsa and it’s still ongoing. We’re using the Nigerian Air Force to access the inaccessible areas.
“These are natural disasters, we just hope and pray that we don’t see that again. It is a global phenomenon and the government is up and doing in this regard.”
Replying to Clark, she said “Merely looking at me, you know that I am humane. Let me use this opportunity to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Lives have been lost, very unfortunate. There were early warnings and hence, early actions by all. The national sub nationals and even individuals that were prone to this disaster.
“We have erected temporary shelters, about 44 of them in 22 states, some people moved to those shelters, while others did not, very unfortunate and I think at this point, I quite agree that there should be enforcement going forward.”
She also said that there has been a donation of 1.5 billion naira worth of food stuff distributed to the affected persons by the Dangote led Flood Committee through the National Emergency Management Agency.
She also refuted that relief materials meant for the citizens in the amelioration of the effect of COVID 19 were looted, diverted and later discovered in personal warehouses.