From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has accused the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq of ethnic mission over her comments on the flooding in Bayelsa.
President of the INC, Professor Benjamin Ogele Okaba in a press statement issued in Yenagoa said it took strong exception to her claims by the Bayelsa State is not among the 10 most-affected states by this year’s flood disaster while Jigawa State is the most-impacted in the federation.
Okaba who described Farouq’s “unscientific assessment of the flood situation” as “reckless, inhuman, disrespectful, insensitive, provocative and insulting to not only the government and people of Bayelsa State but the Ijaw nation and indeed the Niger Delta” said she has failed in her assignment to manage disaster.
While insisting that Bayelsa State is the worst-hit by the 2022 flood catastrophe in all ramifications, he said the flood disaster has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Bayelsa State.
“The disaster devastated many lives, livelihoods, road infrastructures; submerged hospitals, schools, communities and displaced over a million persons in the state. The state was practically cut off from the rest of the country as the rampaging floodwaters gravely damaged the East-West Road sections of Okogbe-Ihuike-Ahoada in River State. As a result of the crushing devastation, there was acute shortage of foodstuffs, water, medicines, petroleum products and other essential goods in Bayelsa State. The prices of goods and services, therefore, increased astronomically,” he said.
Okaba who stated that Ms Farouq false claim has exposed the “crass incompetence, cluelessness and ineptitude she has brought to bear in the discharge of her duties” added that she has politicized the flood disaster.
“It is on record that like her principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, Farouq sat in Abuja and did not visit Bayelsa State to personally see the extent of destruction before drawing her spurious conclusions, relying on bogus data dripping with ethnic sentiments”
He declared that the Federal Government has shown hatred towards Bayelsa over the flood disaster with its handling of its response to the plight of the state.
The statement read in part, “The INC believes that the Minister’s mindset and ethnic bias was responsible for the refusal of the Federal Government to show any concern and empathy towards Bayelsa and provide succour to ameliorate the sufferings of flood victims in the state since the natural calamity befell the state.