Flood in Bayelsa
By Segun James
President Goodluck Jonathan Friday arrived to his country home in Otuoke, Bayelsa state, to witness the devastation that the flood that has ravaged the state has wrought on his home.
The President, whose helicopter touched down at the Government House helipad around One O’clock in the afternoon and was received by Governor Henry Serape Dickson and his Deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah immediately left in a convoy for Otuoke to see things for himself.
The President’s convoy waded easily through the flood that has closed down the road leading to his community even as newsmen on the tail refused to risk the drive in their bus.
Accompanied by a member of the House of Representatives Mrs. Uche Ekwunife and the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia, the President’s visit is continuation of his tour of states ravaged by flood in the country.
While, in the state, the President is expected to undertake an assessment tour of other areas affected within the state as well as visit some of the relief camps to personally see things for himself.
Meanwhile, worried by reports of the setting up of illegal refugee camps in the state, Governor Seriake Dickson has ordered the closure of a camp for non-indigenes for flood victims in Yenagoa.
The illegal camp which is said to have been located at Community Secondary School, Kpansia in the state capital lacked toilet, electricity, water, food, drugs, mattresses among other items with over 800 displaced persons sleeping on the bare floor is said to have set up on the orders of a top government official without approval.
The State Commissioner of Police, Kingsley Omire who disclosed this yesterday shortly after an assessment tour of some relief camps in the state capital, noted that a senior special assistant to the governor and others were behind the setting up of the illegal camp.
He said that following the discovery of the camp, Governor Dickson directed the reconstitution of the food distribution committee to ensure food reach the displaced persons even as they inmates were been re-distributed to other camps.
Omire who was accompanied by the State Director of the State Security Service (SSS), Andrew Iorkyar on the camp tours personally ensured that the illegal camp was closed down.
Following the continued rise in the flood level and the inability of small vehicles to wade through the flood ravaged roads leading out of the state, tipper, trucks and trailers drivers are smiling to the banks as they now charge upwards of N2,000 per passenger leaving Yenagoa.
The trucks take passengers from the city to Elele in Rivers State due to the rising floods along Okogbe, to enable them assess Port Harcourt and parts of the East.
On the western front, a transport company, G. Agofure Motors has provided speed boats for it customers to enable them cross the cut off portion of the East/West road in Umeh, Delta State where waiting vehicles at the other side of the road take them to their destination.