By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State yesterday urged the Nigerian Air Force to undertake emergency evacuation of flood victims, noting that many communities in the state had already been submerged by flood.
Speaking when the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar paid him a visit in Government House, Yenagoa, Dickson said Bayelsa was the worst hit state in the country since the entire state is below sea level.
He added that in the next one month, more communities would be affected, stressing that the state government in partnership with the military and other relevant agencies, were needed to support those displaced by the flood disaster.
“Let me commend the Air Force for the way and manner your officers and men supported this state during the 2012 flood and let me also use this opportunity to call for more support, especially now.
“As we speak, so many of our communities are under water. As you know, the whole of Bayelsa is below sea level. So, once there is a major flooding situation in our country, our state is one of the most impacted, because all the major rivers pass through here to the Atlantic.
“I want to see a situation where your officers and men collaborate more with our people, especially in the area of evacuation because the situation we have at hand is alarming. The reports we are getting are not palatable.
“We are told that the situation will continue for the next one month, by which time, I can count on my fingers how many communities in Bayelsa will not be evacuated,” he said.
Dickson reiterated his administration’s commitment towards supporting the security agencies to sustain the prevailing peace and stability in the Niger Delta region and called for synergy with the Nigerian Air Force to provide effective security, in and around the Bayelsa International Airport.
He also said that the state government would soon hand over one of its model secondary schools to the Air Force as it did with the Nigerian Army.
The Chief of Air Staff, said he was in the state on an operational visit to the Mobility Command as part of efforts aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Air Force for optimal performance.
Abubakar assured the governor of his preparedness to strengthen the security architecture in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta region, given their strategic nature.