President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor,said recent flood that submerged houses across Nigeria and displaced thousands of people was horrifying.
In a statement signed and made available in Abuja by his Special Assistant, Media and Public Affairs, Kenny Ashaka, yesterday, the CAN leader said his organisation shared the traumatic moment with victims of the disaster.
Ashaka said: ”Pastor Oritsejafor sympathizes with victims of the disaster and prays that God will protect them from all hidden dangers and deadly diseases that may have come with the floods.”
He prays also that God will grant them maximum security wherever they are settled.
The CAN President applauded President Goodluck Jonathan for quickly responding to assist victims in the affected areas but reasoned that those for who the N17.6 billion relief fund was meant could only benefit, maximally, if it was treated as Special Intervention Fund and disbursed directly.
”To channel the fund through Ministries, Departments, Agencies and bodies other than the Federal Government Committee set up for that purpose is to create a bureaucratic bottleneck that may end up reducing what should accrue to the victims,”he said.
According to him, “at this point of their need, what the victims require is direct financial assistance. With the magnitude of destruction of property, displacement of people and disruption of farming activities by the floods, there is a possibility of famine and nationwide hunger next year”.
He called on the Federal Government to do everything possible to avert the looming nationwide hunger and public health challenges by being proactive.
Pastor Oritsejafor noted that the magnitude of destruction and displacement of Nigerians from their places of abode were a direct consequence of the Federal Government’s negligence to listen to advice from experts that had predicted the looming danger.
He enjoined the Federal Government to come up with enduring solutions by involving experts and researchers to handle post-flood challenges in order to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians, especially children.
He wanted the Federal Government to formally declare the affected areas as disaster zones and accord them the status of national emergency.
He appealed to more men of means, public and private institutions, religious bodies and international donor agencies across the world to collaborate with the Federal Government in its bid to tackle this disaster.
Flood sacks 62 communities in Delta
WARRI—Sixty two Communities in Obotebe kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State have been submerged rendering thousands of people homeless.
When our correspondent visited the affected communities, many houses including the palace of Umbi Ezuwei 1, the Ebenaunowei of Obotebe Kingdom were submerged.
Some of the communities affected include Kenlougbene, Laboulouseigha, Opuapale, Atiri, Bilaizigha, Ogbogbene, Itokogbene, Antonigbene, Bulou-Abadegbene, Falewei, Tuogbene, Telemontugbene among others.
In a chat with Vanguard, the king of Obotebe, HRM Samuel Akeomotubo, JP, said ”62 communities in Obotebe kingdom have being submerged, property worth millions of naira have been destroyed.
I am very surprised with this kind of situation, this is my first experience in this kingdom. 62 Communities that made up this kingdom have being submerged and at the moment I don’t know what to do”.
As community chair raises alarm over flood menace
The chairman of Okrika (Ofonibenghan) community, in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr. Tugbofa Ferdinand, has raised alarm that the community was ravaged by the devastating flood.
The community leader, who spoke to newsmen, yesterday, said not a single building was spared by the flood, lamenting that Ofonibenghan was most affected by the flood, and that nothing was being done to assist the people of the community by the government and its agencies.
He said no human being was still living in the community as the people have been completely displaced by the flood.
He said even the community primary school, where Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin E. Clark, attended has been destroyed by the flood.
He called on state government and relevant authorities to come to the aid of the people of the community, noting that they are worst hit by the flood.
Esanma community cries out, seeks aid for victims
The home town of former Justice of Supreme Court, Justice Niki Tobi, one of the most flood ravaged communities in Bomadi local government area has cried out asking sons and daughters living outside to lend a helping hand and not to abandon the community.
This message was conveyed after an emergency meeting held in Warri by the Esanma Youth Network and signed by it president, Comrade Andrew Elijah after an assessment tour to the community.
Comrade Elijah noted that the people of Esanma have suffered untold hardship as a result of the rampaging flood.
Lamenting their predicament, they said the flood has destroyed many houses, farmlands, including the fish pond of a prominent leader, Chief Fred Anesa that has been a source of livelihood to several youths in the community.
They also appealed to those who are responsible for the distribution of Federal and state government intervention funds and relief materials to do so with the fear of God.
Meanwhile, they urged indigenes of the community abroad to liaise with the Esanma community Warri to channel their contributions to the affected victims.