Atiku donates N55 million to Bayelsa flood victims

By Chris Ezeonoh, Port Harcourt

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has donated N55 million to victims of flood disaster in Bayelsa State.

Atiku announced the donation on Tuesday in Yenagoa while on a visit to sympathize with the flood victims and the Bayelsa State government.

The former Vice President said the donation was a token of his support for the recovery process of those affected by the flood.

He described the disaster as disheartening and lamented its effect on the lives and economy of people of the state, calling on the federal government and public-spirited individuals and organizations to support Bayelsa in its most difficult situation.

While advocating for the setting up of an independent flood disaster relief fund that would provide succour to victims and a temporal fund for farmers to alleviate their losses, the former Vice President urged Federal Government to build the required infrastructure to contain excess water.

He said if elected president next year, he would complete the dam in Adamawa State as well as take measures to ensure that Nigeria does not suffer such magnitude of damage as a result of flood.

Atiku further announced scholarships up to university level to children of the late footballer who drowned after saving five other victims of the flood in a boat mishap.

The former Vice President used the occasion to thank Bayelsa delegates for their support during the PDP Presidential primaries.

Atiku said, ” My visit to Bayelsa is to have a personal experience of the devastation that victims of flood have suffered across the country. Climate change is real. The experience in Bayelsa is disheartening. Human lives and public infrastructure have been destroyed.

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“People who are likely to survive this flood have lost their livelihood and need every ounce of support they can get. I commiserate with them.

“On my part and on behalf of my family, I wish to announce the sum of N50 million and call on my friends in the corporate world to also assist the victims of the flooding”

Governor Diri while responding thanked Atiku and said the people of the state were encouraged by the display of love by the former Vice President.

The governor who confirmed receiving the money on the spot said Atiku was the first presidential candidate to donate such amount and assured the money would be paid into the flood relief account.

He lamented the slow response of the Federal Government despite several efforts by him to get the attention of the relevant authorities.

According to the governor, Bayelsa remains the state that lays the golden egg where oil was first struck in commercial quantity and wondered why the Federal Government was yet to give the state the required attention.

Atiku and his entourage accompanied by Governor Diri and other state government officials later visited the Ox Bow Lake Pavilion in Yenagoa housing the Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) where the former Vice President donated N5million to the victims.

In Atiku’s entourage were PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorcha Ayu, Acting Chairman Board of Trustees, BOT, Senator Adolphus Wabara, former National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, Spokesman of the campaign council, Senator Dino Melaye and other members of the National Working Committee.

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