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Devastating floods force Bayelsa to close schools

Following the devastation caused by flood, Governor Douye Diri has directed the immediate closure of all primary and secondary schools across Bayelsa State.

Douye Diri
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

In a statement on Sunday, October 18, 2020, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said the directive takes effect from Monday, October 19.

The statement said Governor Diri’s decision was taken to avert further danger to lives.

It said the governor gave the directive after leading a team of his cabinet members and other government officials on an on-the-spot visit to some of the flooded communities in Yenagoa and Southern Ijaw local government areas on Saturday.

He visited other affected local government areas on Sunday.

The governor, who lamented the devastating effect of the flooding on the people and communities, said his administration would not abandon them at this time of need.

He stated that, as a concerned government, palliatives would be sent to victims of the disaster as a temporary measure.

His words: “Due to the devastating effect of the flooding that I have seen, I hereby direct the Commissioner for Education to immediately close all secondary and primary schools until the floods recede.

“Painfully, we have to take this decision because the schools were just resuming from COVID-19 closure and here we have another natural challenge arising from flooding.

“I will continue with this visit to empathise and sympathise with our brothers and sisters. Let me assure all of them that as a state we are with them,” he said.

Diri called on federal government agencies, particularly the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to come to the aid of the government and people of the state.

“We also appeal to Mr President to immediately come to our aid, particularly with respect to the ecological fund and all other funds available to ensure that our people are not neglected.”

Diri equally directed the Vice Chancellor of the Niger Delta University to immediately explore and ensure that a department be created for erosion control in the institution.

He emphasised the need for a permanent solution to the annual flooding challenge, saying the people have suffered enough.

The governor had a brief stopover at the palaces of the Amananaowei of Amassoma Community and Ebenibe of Epie Kingdom.

In separate interviews with journalists, the Amananaowei of Amasoma Community, Chief Graham Naingba, and the Ebenibe of Epie Kingdom, King Malla Sasime, thanked the governor for his concern towards the plight of the people.

They called on the Federal Government to join efforts with the state government to address the challenges associated with floods.

Areas visited by the governor included the Amassoma, Agudama-Ekpetiama and Igbogene communities as well as some parts of the state capital.

By Shedrack Frank

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