By Francis Sardauna
The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has decried the inability of the federal government to keep its promise of resettling and compensating flood victims in Jibia Local Government Area of the state.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had on July 15, 2018, visited the flood-ravaged local government areas to assess the level of damage caused by the natural disaster.
The flood, caused by torrential rains on Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic, killed more than 52 persons and destroyed thousands of houses in the border town, according to the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
During the assessment visit, Osinbajo said the federal government would resettle and compensate the victims, adding that drainages and culverts will also be constructed in the areas affected to prevent further occurrence.
But two years after the visit, Governor Masari, while in audience with members of flood assessment team from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), at the Government House, said none of the promises has been fulfilled by the federal government.
He said: “Two years ago, we had very serious flash flood which saw the vice-president coming to Jibia and promises were made. Well, with the exception of food items that NEMA brought, all the promises made none was fulfilled.
“It is unfortunate, promises were made that the victims will be resettled, drainages and culverts will be constructed. But unfortunately, we haven’t heard from neither NEMA nor ecological fund or anybody up to this time.
“If we have relied absolutely on those promises, we would have shamed the people of Jibia. But luckily enough, we invited NEWMAP, they came and designed the area as emergency. That is why in the last three months, we were able to sign contracts with them for the construction of drainages and culverts in Jibia.”
According to the governor, palliatives in terms of food, sleeping materials and clothing would only mitigate the perennial condition of the victims but would not eradicate the fundamental predicament.
Earlier, the leader of the team, Mr. Shehu Garba, told Governor Masari that they were in the state to assess the damages caused by flood for assistance by the federal government.