Journalism of Courage

Floods in Kogi leaves dozens of villages under water, says Governor

DOZENS of towns and villages in Kogi state were submerged after storm unleashed torrential rain that triggered floods in no fewer than 10 local government areas.

The flood forced thousands of families to leave their homes and now at the Internally Displaced camps set up by the state.

Governor Yahaha Bello on Monday, ran to President Muhammadu Buhari to seek his intervention over the issue, saying most of the states is now under water.

According to him, “As usual I came to brief Mr. President on situation report and the happenings in my state periodically. I am sure you are all aware of the flood problem that is happening all over the country and Kogi is worst hit being the confluence state, confluence of the two rivers.

“So, we are worst hit and I needed to come and present the report to him myself. Even though I sincerely appreciate Mr President for deploying relevant agencies like NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) and all the security agencies to come to our aid.

“As I speak to you, NEMA is on their way to Lokoja to access the level of damage and we received substantial amount of relief materials so far, it is not enough. I need to present the report to him as well and also to tell him about the security of the state and how we are doing.

“We are doing very well and I thank all the security agencies who have been assisting us to make sure we curb insecurity in the state. Do these are the issues that brought me to come and explain to Mr. President.”

On what has been done to tackle the situation so far, Bello said, “We experience this periodically. 2012, we were worst hit, we are praying that the situation will not exceed that this year.

“We are normally proactive to sensitize the people and evacuate them to high ground. We have created over 33 camps in Kogi State. As I speak with you, between nine to ten local governments are under water, you can imagine the pressure on our resources.

“So, we are doing our best in collaboration with federal agencies and security agencies to make sure that we evacuate them to high grounds, IDP camps and provide security to them and relief materials including medicals.”

Commenting on the 2019 election and the chances of President Buhari and the APC, the governor boasted that the President will get overwhelming votes that will double the votes he got in 2015 election.

He said, “This is the era where a lot of hopes even if it is false, people build their castle in the air. You can see that Mr. President is good to go. I want to assure Nigerians that the vote for Mr. President in 2019 is going to double that of 2015.

“In my own state, I can assure you, take my words, we are going to have all the 25 House of Assembly members, all the nine House of Representatives members and all the three Senators for APC in this 2019 election.

“We did it in all other states and in my state you can see in the last by-election the gap when the election was conducted in 2015 between the APC winner and the PDP was just about 7,000, but in this last by-election, we doubled the gap, so that is an indication.

“Two, by my style of leadership in Kogi State, we met Kogi State House of Assembly, APC in minority, we have overwhelming majority today, we have less than 85,000 registered in Kogi State for APC, as at today we have over a million membership in the state.

“Yesterday (Sunday) we had a decamping rally where SDP state chapter collapsed, ADP, ADC, PDP majority of them including Kwamkwasiya, they burnt their cap yesterday, they drove away the SDP horse yesterday. So that is the movement and it is across the nation not only in Kogi state.”

Reminded of the Facebook polls that said Buhari will  be defeated in 2019 polls, Bello said, “I think there is a polling unit in the Facebook, so they cast their votes in the Facebook. On ground I can assure you of total victory.”


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