…Begs FG for urgent intervention
From: Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has raised the alarm over the recent flooding being experienced in Makurdi, the state capital, warning that if urgent steps were not taken, the sad experience of 2012 might repeat itself.
Recall that in 2012, thousands of Makurdi residents were displaced after many houses were submerged for several weeks as a result of flood.
The Governor thus appealed to the Federal Government to urgently intervene in the problem of flooding which has rendered many residents of Makurdi homeless.
Ortom made the appeal, on Monday, when he inspected flooded areas in the town, where he described the menace as overwhelming, and lamenting that the flood issue arose at the time his administration was facing challenges of salary payment.
The Governor, however, called on those living in flood prone areas across the state to relocate even as he directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to seek ways of assisting those who have been displaced.
While also directing that excavators should be used to create emergency water channels pending Federal Government intervention, Governor Ortom specifically requested the Federal Government to consider the release of ecological funds to Benue.
He frowned at the construction of residential buildings on drainage channels and flood plains and noted that such structures would have to be demolished.
During the inspection, Governor Ortom visited Radio Benue transmission station which has been submerged by water and went to Katsina-Ala street and adjourning areas where displaced residents appealed for assistance.
At the streets behind the Benue Civil Service Commission where Governor Ortom was told that a contractor was given about N1 billion to provide drainage channels but he absconded, he said the matter was being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).