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FG disappointed Bayelsa, say Ijaw youths

Sadiya Umar-Farouq1

The Ijaw Youth Council said on Tuesday that the Federal Government of Nigeria has failed Bayelsa State with its poor response to the humanitarian crisis in the state, occasioned by the flood disaster.

This is just as the council demanded the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya  Farouq, for claiming that Bayelsa State was not among the 10 most-affected states saying Jigawa State was the worst-hit in the federation by the catastrophe.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Bayelsa flood and the massive humanitarian disaster’, issued on Tuesday by the national spokesman for the IYC, Ebipade Ekerefe.

The group said, “For one, it is sad to note the controversy, disrespectful comments and politicisation of the humanitarian disaster that swallowed over 400 communities of the eight local government councils of Bayelsa State. Over a million persons, including women and children, were displaced. Farmlands, critical roads, lives, bridges and major businesses are lost.

“Secondly, the IYC became more worried that despite the plea from the Bayelsa State Government and the Governor, Senator Douye Diri, the Federal Government, who was expected to extend a hand of fellowship, failed us.”

The youth queried the minister for not attempting to visit the state to see the dire situation for herself, instead of relying on data they described as “false.”

It further said, “Instead of limiting their disgraceful failure to the delayed sending of relief​ materials for emergencies and the care of the millions of the IDPs, the Minister for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, Hajia Sadiya Farouq threw more oil into the fire in order to burn the state by making unguided, uninformed and provocative statements.

“Instead of providing succor, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister is adding to the trauma of victims of the flood who have gone through the trauma of braving the elements by sleeping outside on dugout canoes, rooftops and flood water floors.

“We are aware that she did not undertake any assessment trip to the troubled state of Bayelsa, but was quick to rate the magnitude of the flood disaster that claimed hundreds of women, men and children not strong enough compared to Jigawa State.

“In view of this gross and disgraceful misconduct and dereliction of duty, we want to join millions of Niger Delta people by asking the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to resign her appointment as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The IYC, however, said it was encouraged that the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri “showed his capacity during this trying times.”

“He visited all impacted communities, empathised and provide succor to the people. The various IDPs visited have been made conducive and every resident well fed.”

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