Residents of the Gbaradogi community in Patigi local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria, are still struggling to recover from the devastating floods that hit their community in September 2022. The riverine community, whose residents primarily rely on fishing and agriculture for their livelihoods, experienced the worst flood in their history.
According to Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, at least 603 people were killed in floods across the country, with 1.3 million persons displaced and 82,053 houses completely destroyed.
The Managing Director of Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, Abubakar Yelwa, confirmed that at least seven people lost their lives to flood in different parts of Kwara State and that 1,300 households and 2,800 persons were affected in the flood disaster.
As residents look forward to participating in the 2023 general elections, many voters in Gbaradogi will not be able to cast a ballot due to a natural disaster beyond their control. Many of them lost their permanent voter cards, among other valuables, to the flood. Locals who spoke to The Informant247 reported that they lost their voter cards as the flood crept into their households in the night, forcing them to flee for safety.
Zainab Muhammad, a resident of Maiyaki in Gbaradogi, said she lost her voter card to the flood, adding that, “I can’t find it again. It was a very bad experience. Although, my husband has made some efforts to help me do another one, I don’t really know much about how the process is going.” Ahmed Jibrin, also a resident of Maiyaki, pointed out that the loss of voter cards would impact the outcome of the 2023 elections in their area, noting that one village alone “has about 300 people that are potential voters.”
Many residents of Gbaradogi who lost their voter cards to the flood have not yet made a concerted effort to recover them due to the poor road linking their community to the main city.