John Adams, Minna
Following Saturday flood disaster in Suleja Local Government Area of Niger State which claimed 13 lives with several others still missing, the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has ordered the demolition of all structures built on waterways in the area.
The Governor gave the directives when he visited the scene of the disaster for an on-the-spot assessment of the affected areas to ascertain the extent of destruction and to commiserate with the families of the deceased and the entire people of Suleja local government.
The Governor who was conducted round the areas by the Chairman of Suleja local government council Mallam Abdullahi Shuaibu Maje expressed shock at the level of devastation caused by the flood, adding that indiscriminate building on waterways was largely responsible for the flood.
He equally expressed regret over the attitude of officials of the local government who because of corruption, approved buildings on water channels, stressing that “this is very wrong, it is a high level of corruption. The corruption has eaten deep such that nobody cares if not how can someone gives permission to people to build houses on waterways.
“Local government must wake up, all these malpractices at the local government must stopped. the Urbn Development, Ministry for local government and that of Environment should go round and mark all buildings on waterway for immediate demolition”.
He however directed that all the affected people be relocated to a different place if there is land, insisting that the government will henceforth not tolerate buildings on water channels.
The Governor who described the incident as unfortunate noted that people indulged in the habit of building on waterways indiscriminately not minding the dangers involved, adding that “water will always find its way no matter how long it takes”.
Areas affected by the disaster include Anguwar Gwari, Almadeenat, Poulosa, Rafin Sanyi, Madalla,Kwanba, and Anguwar Kuyanbana.
The Director General Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) Mallam Ibrahim Inga told the Governor that no fewer than 431 houses, including schools and worship centers were destroyed by the flood, among them 25 houses were completely washed away.
Inga disclosed that 13 dead bodies have so far been recovered while nine persons are still missing, adding that seven injured ones are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.