The umbrella body of youths of Ijaw extraction in Niger Delta, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) on Tuesday slammed the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government over the ongoing floods ravaging the Niger Delta region particularly Bayelsa State.
In a statement he issued in Port Harcourt, the IYC President, Peter Igbifa, lamented that over 85 percent of the entire Bayelsa was underwater with about 100 deaths recorded in the last two weeks.
Igbifa who demanded the deployment of presidential fleet to the state to rescue trapped victims and mitigate the damage already done by the flood lamented that Bayelsa had been cut off from civilization as the floods took over and washed away significant portions of the East-West road through which Bayelsa can be accessed at both Rivers and Delta states’ axis.
The IYC president described the condition of the people at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Bayelsa as terrible, stressing that the traumatized victims required urgent medical, food and cash deployment to avert starvation and outbreak of diseases.
According to Igbifa, the situation was so overwhelming that all efforts of the state Governor, Senate Douye Diri, to mitigate it had become like a drop of water in the ocean.
He said the IYC under his watch had also set up a flood relief committee to procure some materials and share with the victims but insisted that his effort was not enough to avert the grave danger faced by the people.
Igbifa wondered why Buhari would maintain “unimaginable aloofness” to the state of his predecessor, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who willingly handed over power to him, abandoning his people in their time of need.
Hear him, “As we speak, former President Goodluck Jonathan is officially an internally displaced person. His country home has been submerged and the people of Otuoke like other people from different parts of the state are traumatized.
“Bayelsa’s case is pathetic and requires special intervention from President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government. The floods destroyed the East-West road, the only road leading to Bayelsa at both ends of Rivers and Delta. Therefore the entire Bayelsa is cut off and inaccessible by land.
“There is no movement of goods and services to the state. Trucks carrying foodstuffs, medicine and other items can no longer enter Bayelsa. The food available in the state before the floods had been totally consumed. Starvation is staring people in the face and threatening to wipe them out of existence.
“The available IDPs are congested with serious fear of outbreak of diseases among the people. Our people are hopeless and helpless yet the federal government led by Buhari is carrying on as if all is well”.
The IYC leader said the federal government would have risen to the occasion and quickly undertaken emergency responses if the floods had affected the flow of crude oil in all the pipelines located in the state.
“If this flood had affected oil pipelines, the federal government would have been conducting emergency responses using high-powered boats and helicopters. But now that it affects only the people, they are behaving as if it doesn’t concern them. They place a premium on oil more than human lives”, Igbifa said.
He called on Buhari to order a special urgent humanitarian response to the Bayelsa case and rescue the dying victims of the Bayelsa flood.
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