Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has shown displeasure of the recent comments of the minister of Humanitarian affairs, Disaster management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq over the flood situation in the country.
Earlier this week, at a ministerial briefing at Aso Rock, we recall that the minister of Humanitarian affairs Farouq had responded to Elder Statesman and PANDEF National Leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, who said,
“In the area of life ravaging flood, I don’t even think that the President is aware of the magnitude of the national crisis the nation is being threatened with, when he had not found it necessary to hold the children who look for forlorn, to give them hope and assurance that the nation truly cares for them. People are dying in the flood, people are starving. No water for them to drink, and yet, the President does not care, where is the milk of human kindness in him?”
“We have a Minister of Humanitarian Affairs who is not humane, who was only active to carry out school feeding for school children who were confined to their homes during Covid-19. In such a period of ravaging flood, she has decided on disconcerting silence. Bodies like National Emergency Management Agency were not able to take proactive action.
“Where is the mother of the nation, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari? Her fellow women assurance that the nation truly cares for them. People are dying in the flood, people are starving. No water for them to drink, and yet, the President does not care, where is the milk of human kindness in him?”
Clark saying that the minister is not humane for saying that Jigawa not Bayelsa is the most hit state of the flood regardless of how the flood has sweept through the state, claiming lives and properties.
But responding at the press briefing, Farouq said, “Bayelsa is not among the ten worst hit states, Jigawa is. Merely looking at me, you know that I am humane.”
In the statement by PANDEF, they worry that the Minister’s assertions could heighten the feelings of alienation and dissension in the country.
“The crass irrationality displayed by Sadiya Umar Farouq makes her unfit for the office of Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She should, therefore, resign immediately or be sacked.”
“How can a state up North, like Jigawa, be worst impacted when indeed Bayelsa State has the unfortunate responsibility of receiving the flood water that ran through more than 15 states? As it has been rightly queried.
“PANDEF concedes that the floods had ravaged several states of the country, however, it has been admitted by those entrusted with knowledge on this matter, including experts from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Nigeria Meteorological Services Agency, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency and intellectuals that the States of the Niger Delta, being the final point where all flood water gathers are most impacted and submerged.
“As a matter of fact, in a State such as Bayelsa, almost every part was reportedly submerged and people in most communities were helplessly displaced. For a period now going on to one month, entire communities are underwater, tens of people dead, millions of people displaced and unquantifiable levels of farmlands, fish farms and properties destroyed, and schools have closed.
“From first-hand reports, the Bayelsa State has been cut off from the rest of the country because the ravaging floods had cut off the East-West Road on the Patani axis from the West at 2 spots and the East at 3 spots on the Mbiama – Ahoada axis, making it impossible for commuters to ply the road. Today, Bayelsa State can only be accessed via the waterways or by air.
“What is most shocking is that despite the great publicity on the destruction caused by the floods, our President, the “Father” of the Nation, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, has refused to visit the affected States in the country, and it would appear, has no interest at all to do so, to show empathy and give succour and moral boosting to our people. Sadly, neither the Vice President nor the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives or Secretary to the Government of the Federation has found it necessary to even make a casual visit.
“Worse even, the Minister of Water Resources or the “almighty” and untouchable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development or their colleague, the Minister of Environment whose ministries have direct relevance to the situation, have not thought it fit to visit the affected communities in the Niger Delta. This is shocking and nearly unbelievable.” The statement read.
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