Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has berated the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, for her recent comments on the 2022 flood situation in the country.
During the weekly Ministerial Briefing at Aso Rock on Thursday, Farouq had said Jigawa, not Bayelsa, is the state the most affected by flood in the country.
The Minister who was reacting to questions raised by Elder Statesman and PANDEF National Leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, over the federal government’s response to the flood disaster.
“In the area of life ravaging flood, I don’t even think that the President is aware of the magnitude of the national crisis the nation is being threatened with, when he had not found it necessary to hold the children who look for forlorn, to give them hope and assurance that the nation truly cares for them. People are dying in the flood, people are starving. No water for them to drink, and yet, the President does not care, where is the milk of human kindness in him?”
“We have a Minister of Humanitarian Affairs who is not humane, who was only active to carry out school feeding for school children who were confined to their homes during Covid-19. In such a period of ravaging flood, she has decided on disconcerting silence. Bodies like National Emergency Management Agency were not able to take proactive action. Where is the mother of the nation, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari? Her fellow women are in deep agony, seeing their children dying of starvation and mild illnesses because there was no medication.”
But responding at the press briefing, Farouq said, “Bayelsa is not among the ten most worst hit states, Jigawa is. Merely looking at me, you know that I am humane.”
In its statement, PANDEF said it is worried that the Minister’s assertions could heighten the feelings of alienation and dissension in the country.
“The crass irrationality displayed by Sadiya Umar Farouq makes her unfit for the office of Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She should, therefore, resign immediately or be sacked.”
“How can a state up North, like Jigawa, be worst impacted when indeed Bayelsa State has the unfortunate responsibility of receiving the flood water that ran through more than 15 states? As it has been rightly queried.
“As a matter of fact, in a State such as Bayelsa, almost every part was reportedly submerged and people in most communities were helplessly displaced. For a period now going on to one month, entire communities are underwater, tens of people dead, millions of people displaced and unquantifiable levels of farmlands, fish farms and properties destroyed, and schools have closed.
“From first-hand reports, the Bayelsa State has been cut off from the rest of the country because the ravaging floods had cut off the East-West Road on the Patani axis from the West at 2 spots and the East at 3 spots on the Mbiama – Ahoada axis, making it impossible for commuters to ply the road. Today, Bayelsa State can only be accessed via the waterways or by air.:”