PDP Tackles FG on Slow Response to Benue Flood

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  • Mark seeks assistance for Benue

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned what it described as slow and unprofessional approach adopted by the federal government disaster response agency, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the massive flood that occurred in Benue State.

In a statement issued yesterday by the Head of Publicity Unit, Chinwe Nnorom, the opposition party urged both the states and federal governments to be more proactive by taking adequate steps to put in place mechanisms that would curtail such level of disaster in other flood prone areas across the country.

“We condemn the slow response of NEMA on the disaster, we wonder why NEMA, an agency created by the federal government with the mandate to respond speedily in times of emergency will wait for the so called “Presidential Directives” before performing its duties,” it said.

PDP said report has it that the flood disaster which occured few days ago has displaced more than 110,000 citizens of the state and destroyed hectares of farm lands.

The PDP statement said: “In view of the above, we consider NEMA’s action unfortunate and unprofessional. We therefore advise all agencies of government whose duty it is to provide emergency services to do so promptly in order to save lives.

“We call on both the States and Federal Governments to be more proactive by taking adequate steps to put in place mechanisms that will curtail such level of disaster in other flood prone areas across the country.

“We sympathise with the government and people of Benue State over the devastating flood that wrecked havoc on farmlands and displaced thousands of inhabitants in twenty four communities including Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

“Finally, we pray for the souls of all those that lost their lives to rest in peace and console all the affected families to bear this irreparable loss.”

Former Senate President, Senator David Mark, has urged the federal government to help Benue State out of the present flood disaster that ravaged some parts of the state.

Thousands of citizens have been rendered homeless as hundreds  of houses and other  properties  were submerged by the  flood largely influenced by the torrential rainfall.

Mark sympathised with  the government and people of the state,  describing the disaster as monumental.

He therefore urged NEMA to  intervene by bringing relief materials  for the thousands of citizens  already displaced by the flood.

The former Senate helmsman also enjoined  organisations and good  spirited individuals to render  assistance to the flood ravaged communities  in the  state.

He, however, counselled citizens to adhere strictly to town planning rules and regulations  for buildings as part of measures to prevent reoccurrence of such disaster.

Benue was one of the states ravaged by flood in the 2012  disaster believed to have been orchestrated by  the release of water from the Lagbo dam in Cameroun.