Dredge Rivers Niger, Benue, Build Dams, Kogi Monarch Urges FG

Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja

Worried by the annual flooding and its attendant challenges , a traditional ruler and the Chairman of Ibaji Traditional Council, Eje of Ibaji, Ajofe John Egwemi, has  called on the federal government to dredge the Rivers Niger and Benue and let them build dams on the two major rivers.

He also urged the federal government to emulate  smaller countries having their dams  because  every day, we are facing threats from Cameroon over the release of water.

The  monarch  made this appeal when he received the Managing Director of Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, in his  palace in Onyedega, headquarters of the Council, while on tour of communities ravaged by floods as a result activities hydro-electric power generating dams.

He said there was great need to commend  the commission, saying: “When you are helped by somebody, it is good to say how much he has helped you so that he can do more for you.

“HYPPADEC is a blessing to us in Nigeria. You have done so many things for us. We call on you to help shout to the federal government and relevant authorities to come to our

“Our road is terrible. Why is it so? “It is because of the flooding, we are cut off. The break in the school system is pathetic, our health is compromised, diseases abound, our economic crops are destroyed all because of the flood.

“We are suffering all these because our voices are not loud enough. Could you please tell the federal government for

“Please, help us talk to the federal government to dredge the Rivers Niger and Benue and let them build dams on the two major rivers. Smaller countries have their dams and everyday, we face threats from Cameroon over release of water.

“Let us  for God’s sake built our own dams. If we are able to build at least two dams, one each on Niger and Benue with well coordinated dredging, the flooding menace and threats will be finally laid to rest,” he said.

Kogi State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Victor Adewale Omofaiye while speaking  on occasion, said the  issue of dredging and road reconstruction was beyond the scope of the state government.

He said that the state government would, however, continue to provide succour to alleviate the sufferings of the people, adding that should the NiMET prediction of flooding come through, temporary settlements would be arranged.

Earlier, Managing Director of HYPPADEC,  Yelwa has pledged the commission’s resolve to advocate for the reconstruction of Idah-Onyedega road linking the flood-ravaged Ibaji Local Government Area with the outside world.

Yelwa explained that the tour was to avail the commission’s management, opportunity to assess the level of devastation and afford the community members the chance to participate in identifying possible areas of intervention.

He conceded to the fact that resources  for the reconstruction of the road was enormous and beyond the commission’s reach but added that because issues of safety and sources of livelihood were involved, there was need for urgent intervention.

He said that HYPPADEC would therefore use its influence to drum  support through relevant government agencies and institutions for the reconstruction of the all-important road in view of sufferings and hardships being encountered by communities.

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