Ijaw National Congress, INC, in response to the ravaging floods happening in the country, has said it will ensure the compensation of flood victims by the Federal Government. The Congress claims that the failure of the government to put measures in place is why so many are displaced because of the floods.
INC made this known through its Publicity Secretary, Engr. Ezonebi Oyakemeagbegha at a meeting with press men. He stated that the Ijaw regions of Delta and Bayelsa states has been swamped.
He said: “Our ancestral homes, worship centers, sacred lands, etc have all been devastated.
“Most worrisome is the fact that even those that are resting in peace, are not allowed to rest. The flood excavated graves, Some mortuaries were submerged and corpses floated everywhere.
Honestly, we have not seen such a thing like this in the history of the Ijaw nation. “Traditional rulers were forced to abandon their palaces to squat with either relatives or friends, can’t imagine the abomination. “Some children and aged people have flushed away because of the high current of the flood. These could only remind us of Noah’s story in the Bible.
“The Provision of conventional relief materials, such as rice bags, and mattresses, that would not make any meaningful impact on these victims is absurd. “Funny enough, even these trivial relief materials are hijacked mostly by the middlemen. They hardly get to the victims.
“We are aware of last year’s and this year’s budgetary provisions in those ministries saddled with the responsibility of emergency situations but such funds either go into the stomach of a snake, crocodile, monkey or animals feasting on money. “The provision for this year as contained in the budget, Ministry of Environment, N52,115,699,725, Niger Delta, N126,483,021,722, and Humanitarian Disaster Management and Social Development, N507,901,288,015.
“These provisions exclude the provision for the various parastatals under the main ministries. We are also aware that over Seventy Billion naira is still in the purse of the Ecological funds.
“But so far, not to our knowledge if any of these agencies have come to the aid of the victims
“We can no longer Condone this sheer irresponsibility of the Federal Government, ” he said.
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“The Ijaw people bear the brunt of this ravaging flood, because of the topography. Most of our communities are located along the River shores and are below sea level. God in his infinite mercy recognised this fact and blessed us with natural resources, which could have been used to take care of some other challenges. Allow us to be free and manage our natural resources and see if we will have one cause to regret. We will continue to call for true Federalism and Self determination.
“The pains and sufferings our people have gone through this period is incredible, unbelievable and unthinkable. “The nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government towards the lives of its citizens in the name of natural disasters is no longer tenable. Nobody should deceive us. This is no natural disaster, it is a man-made disaster, and it is available.
“The Federal Government has reduced its people to penury, anguish and everlasting sorrow.
“It’s posited that the primary responsibility of governments all over the world is to protect lives and properties but the Nigerian State has deliberately abandoned its responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of its people. It is a state crime against its own people.
The Ijaw nation, therefore, urged the Federal Government to prepare to pay compensation to all affected Ijaw communities, clans and kingdoms,” he added.