President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, October 16, 2022, expressed sadness at the devastation caused by flood in Bayelsa, urging all emergency bodies to provide all necessary assistance to the state.
According to reports by the state government, 700,000 persons have been displaced in about 300 communities and villages in five of the state’s eight local government areas that were submerged in water due to rains causing the floods.
The president, in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, on Sunday in Abuja extended the nation’s condolences to the families of the victims and all those affected by the natural disaster.
Shehu quoted the president as directing that all federal agencies dealing with rescue and disaster management offer all needed assistance to Bayelsa as the authorities in the state continued to take steps to help people hit by the floods.
Buhari blamed buildings on water channels, disregard for early warning by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the changes to weather caused by climate change as being the major causes of the floods across the country.
He noted that the floods had so far hit 33 of the nation’s 36 states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which has not been spared either.
The president also directed all concerned to work for the restoration of normalcy throughout the affected parts of the federation.
Similarly, the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), Anambra State office has donated food items to some flood victims in the state.
The Commission made the presentation when Mrs Emelda Nwajiofor-Okoli, Federal Commissioner representing Anambra, led her team to one of the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps at Atani, Ogbaru LGA on Sunday.
The relief items donated were cartons of noodles, tubers of yam, cartons of bread and cartons of biscuits.
Nwajiofor-Okoli said the visit to interact with the affected persons and reach out to them was part of the Commission’s social responsibility aimed at ameliorating their sufferings.
The Commissioner said she was moved by the reports of the flood and its impact on the lives of the people in the affected areas, describing their conditions as pitiable.
“The Commission deemed it imperative to visit and sympathise with you and also extend the Commission’s hands of fellowship, relationship and magnanimity to you because, ‘injury to one is an injury to all’.
“I assure you that the Commission will take your plight to the relevant agencies at the federal and state government level. so they can come to your aid.
“I want to appeal to governments, firms and individuals on behalf of displaced people in the riverine communities affected by flood that they need help, their houses, farmlands and properties are all submerged,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Charles Ekwunife, the Director of PCC in Anambra consoled the victims, “nothing happens without the knowledge of God” and asked them to thank Him for sparing their lives.
Ekwunife said the Commission shared in the grief of the victims of the flood and pleaded for more robust and speedy response to the emergency with the aim of preventing further loss of lives and property.
Mr Victor Ikeogu, the Chairman, Flood Committee, Atani, who received the relief items on behalf of the entire victims, thanked the PCC in Anambra for their show of solidarity and magnanimity.
In a related development, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms and sunshine from Monday, October 17 to Wednesday, October 19 across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted sunny skies over the northern region on Monday with haziness over parts of Katsina, Yobe and Jigawa in the morning hours.
It also forecast isolated thunderstorms over parts of Southern Taraba later in the day.
“Sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North central region in the morning hours with slim chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Kogi, Kwara and Benue later in the day.
“Cloudy conditions are expected over the inland cities of the South with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom in the morning hours.
“Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Delta, Rivers, Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa,” it said.
According to NiMet, sunny and hazy atmosphere is expected on Tuesday over parts of Katisna, Yobe and Jigawa with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Taraba in the morning hours.
The agency envisaged sunny and hazy conditions over the entire Northern states later in the day.
“Cloudy conditions with intervals of sunshine are expected over the North central region in the morning hours with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Kogi and Benue in the afternoon and evening hours.
“The inland and coastal cities of the South should be predominantly cloudy with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Ebonyi, Enugu, Cross River, Rivers and Akwa Ibom in the morning hours.
“ However, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Ebonyi, Enugu, Osun, Ogun, Imo, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta and Lagos States in the afternoon to evening hours, “ it said.
The agency predicted sunny and hazy conditions over the Northern region on Wednesday with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Adamawa and Taraba in the afternoon and evening hours.
NiMet anticipated cloudy conditions with spells of sunshine over the North central region in the morning hours with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa and Benue later in the day.
“The inland and coastal cities of the South should be cloudy with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River during the morning hours.
“Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over the inland and the coastal belt. The Southern parts of the country are still at risk of flash floods.
“Emergency agencies are expected to be at alert. Strong and destructive winds are likely to accompany the thunderstorms. Citizens and Emergency agencies should be at alert and take necessary precautions,” it said.
NiMet urged airline operators to get updated weather reports from its office for effective planning in their operations.
By Ismaila Chafe, Chimezie Anaso and Gabriel Agbeja