From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A former security adviser in Bayelsa State, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, has called on the state Governor, Senator Douye Diri, to deploy ecological funds that accrued to the state to help victims of the ongoing flood disaster in Bayelsa.
Kpodoh in a statement in Yenagoa said it was time for Diri to utilise the funds he had so far collected as ecological funds to mitigate the damage done by the flood and to sufficiently ameliorate the suffering of the people.
He described as unacceptable the repeated call by Diri for the federal government’s assistance saying the governor should first show capacity with resources within his disposal.
“People should hold Governor Douye Diri responsible and compel him to account for all the money he had received so far as ecological funds. Such money is meant for a time like this. It is not sufficient to be crying foul and seeking external assistance. What have you done with the resources available to you?
“Diri’s intervention was first belated and insufficient. There were warnings that Bayelsa and some other states would be flooded. But the governor went about his business without making provisions to mitigate the floods.
“Nothing was done. All the drains were not cleared. People were not sensitised and prepared to face the disaster. No higher grounds were built. We saw how the Kaduna State Government prepared its citizens before the floods.
“We also saw how the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, immediately set up a taskforce and released N1bn for only four local government areas affected by the flood. But the Bayelsa State Governor waited until the floods overtook the entire state killing helpless people before he released paltry N450m for relief materials,” he said.
Kpodoh said Diri’s capacity in governance had been tested by the flood disaster but regretted that the governor had failed woefully by playing to the gallery and presenting himself to the world as helpless.
He said the governor, through his poor leadership style, bungled a great opportunity presented by the flood to redeem his image and advised him to bury any thought of seeking re-election.
Findings indicated that Diri had recently approved additional N450 million to the Bayelsa State Flood Mitigation and Management Task Force which brings the total amount of money released for flood victims to N900 million.
The state government through the task force had also procured additional food items including rice, beans and garri for the second phase of distribution of relief materials to flood victims in the state.