BAYELSA FLOOD: BUHARI DEFENDS MINISTER SADIYA FAROUQ

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••SAYS SHE IS DOING HER BEST

President Mohammadu Buhari has defended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Farouq on her handling of the flood emergency in the country.

The President said that the Minister has done a great job during the flood so far.

The Minister had come under widespread condemnation over her comment in the peak of the misery òf agonizing flood victims in Bayelsa that  the State was not among the 10 most affected by the 2023 flood in the country.

She went further to make what many have described as a needless comparison that Jigawa is the  number one most affected state in the country,

Following the comments, well meaning Nigerians including lawmakers called for her resignation.

The groups  insisted that  she should retract the comment which they described insensitive, callous and tribalistic.

But the President, in a statement by his Seniour Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the calls by some quarters for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development are illogical and not appropriate.

According to the President almost every state in Nigeria was affected by the flood.

He  said the Federal Government was concerned about what happened in Bayelsa, as it is with respect to the other states.

According to him,  no life lost was bigger or lesser than that of the others.

“The scenes of flooding from Bayelsa state are deeply saddening. The Presidency’s thoughts are with victims of, and those affected by, the floods.

“However, calls from some quarters for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development are not appropriate in this climate.

“Almost every state in Nigeria has been affected.

“The Federal Government is concerned about what has happened in Bayelsa as it is with respect to the other states. No life lost is bigger or lesser than that of the others.

“The challenge of bringing succour to the large number of the displaced people in Bayelsa and other states, the restoration of their damaged property and farmlands washed away have clearly overwhelmed disaster management efforts so far  but that  is not to say no efforts are being made.” The statement said.

Buhari said the huge need for everything from foodstuff to tents, blankets and mosquito nets; antimalarial and other drugs clearly indicated that more resources are needed.

He added that the help should not only come by the disaster management agencies of the federal government but also by those at the State and local council levels who should be the first responders before federal government.

“The Minister has been diligently working to target assistance where it is most needed and plug the gaps in several state governments’ disaster responses.

“The state of Bayelsa has done commendably well but they certainly can do better with increased Federal assistance, which is still being delivered batch by batch.

“All these efforts are coming ahead of the report of the committee under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum, set up by the President “to fashion out solutions and then escalate their conclusions to the Federal Government, to alleviate the plight of people currently being ravaged by flood around the country.

“We hope that everyone, the agencies of the Federal government, the states and the local councils will increase the attention to pay to the challenges of climate change.

“Clearly, this is not a time for public reproach. It will only weaken our collective response to the tragedy, and ultimately hinder cooperation that saves lives and delivers emergency aid.

“The government at the centre will continue to do more for Bayelsa and for all states so affected as more and more resources are made available to agencies dealing.” The statement added .

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