From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, disclosed that the Federal Fovernment was seriously considering dredging of River Benue and the construction of drainages to mitigate the effect of flooding in the state.
Osinbajo stated this on an on-the-spot assessment of the recent flood which affected 21, out of the 23 local government areas of the state.
Speaking at the Makurdi International Market where the internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were currently being camped, the vice president explained that President Muhammadu Buhari was concerned about the flood and is seeking ways to stop, once and for all.
“We are here, on behalf of the president, who has been very concerned about the flood and how to stop it once and for all and that is why he is seeking for realistic solutions,” said Osinbajo.
He commended the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for putting in place befitting medical services at the IDP camp, to cater for the medical needs of the flood victims, Osinbajo assured those who were affected by the flood of adequate attention by government.
Earlier, in his address, Governor Samuel Ortom commended the federal government for the concern it had shown through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in responding quickly to the flood, in Benue.
Ortom, who pointed out that aside from eight trucks of relief materials earlier delivered to the state by the federal government, he was aware that five more were still on the way.
The governor also thanked the Nasarawa State government for donating four trucks of relief materials to assist the state.
He however enjoined the federal government to look beyond sending relief materials to the state by dredging River Benue as well as completing the Wurukum-Idye River Basin-Assembly Quarters drainage system which was started during the administration of former Governor George Akume but was later abandoned.
Areas visited by the vice president included the Tor Tiv’s house, the IDP camp, Idye area as well as the SEMA central store located at the Industrial Layout area of the state.
President Buhari had, last week, directed NEMA to immediately mobilise personnel and resources to aid victims of the flood in the state.
A statement by the president’s Media aide, Garba Shehu, said the president was concerned about reports of the flood in Benue, which had affected thousands of homes and displaced more than 100,000 persons in 21 local government areas.
Shehu said the president commiserated with the people and government of Benue state over the unfortunate incidences assuring that the government will provide the needed assistance to help the affected communities cope.
Benue State Emergency Management Agency, had earlier disclosed that over 110,000 people in the state including Makurdi, the state capital, were displaced by the flood.