The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday paid a sympathy visit to Bayelsa and donated N55 million to flood victims.
Bayelsa is among several states which have been submerged by floods.
Atiku said at the Government House in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital that the donation was his token to support the recovery process of those affected by the flood.
Describing the disaster as disheartening, he lamented its effect on the lives and economy of people of the state and called on the Federal Government and public-spirited individuals and organisations to support Bayelsa in this difficult moment.
The former Vice President advocated the setting up of an independent flood disaster relief fund that will provide succor to victims and temporary fund for farmers to ameliorate their losses and provide them with capital for next year’s planting season.
He also urged the Federal Government to build the required infrastructure to contain excess waters.
He said if elected president, he would commit to completing the dam in Adamawa State and take other necessary measures to ensure that Nigeria does not suffer this magnitude of damage as a result of flooding.
The PDP candidate offered scholarship up to university level to children of the late footballer, Ernest Peremobowei, who drowned after saving five other victims of the flood in a boat mishap.
Atiku said: “Let me first thank Bayelsa delegates for their support during the last presidential primary election of our party.
“My visit to Yenagoa is to have a personal experience of the devastation that victims of flooding have suffered across the country. Climate change is real. The experience in Bayelsa is disheartening. Human lives and public infrastructure have been destroyed.
“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.
“Permit me to take this sober moment to send my personal commiserations to President Jonathan for the manner the flood affected him.
“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 flood.”
Responding, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, said people of the state were encouraged by the display of love by Atiku.