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Update: Lawmakers ask FG to declare state of emergency in Bayelsa

The Bayelsa state caucus in the National Assembly has urged the federal government to declare a state of disaster emergency in Bayelsa state.

The caucus made the call on Monday while briefing the house press corps on the devastation caused by the 2022 flood in the state.

A member from the state, Mr. Frederick Agbedi, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, said the state has been totally severed from the rest of the country as a result of the damages to roads and bridges across the State.

“We are not unaware of the numerous challenges this has thrown up and the need for timely intervention by all. Guided by the untold suffering this has spelt on our people, we hereby sympathize with all victims across the State, assuring that as representatives of the people we are in unison, working assiduously in partnership with relevant MDAs to bring succor to the affected populace”, he said.

Mr. Agbedi appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency as well as other relevant agencies to come to the aid of the victims with medicines, foodstuffs and other relief materials.

He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for expressing concern and directing agencies to offer all assistance to the people.

Flood in Bayelsa

Also, Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the Federal Government to declare a national emergency on the rampaging flood that has devastated lives and property in the state and others in the country.

Senator Diri made the call at an emergency Security Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa.

He said the essence of the meeting was to brainstorm with heads of various security agencies to assess the situation holistically and seek ways to mitigate the impact of the natural disaster.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, on Sunday, the governor pointed out that the magnitude of this year’s flood had surpassed that of 2012.

“This year’s flooding has surpassed that of 2012, which is the highest we have witnessed so far. It has become a security emergency”, he said.

According to Senator Diri, “Bayelsa is below sea level and when the flood comes, virtually everywhere is flooded, even the Government House is being threatened.”

He also noted that the flooding had severely impacted communities, homes, and road infrastructure, which had resulted in the state being cut off from neighboring states of Rivers and delta states.

Diri cautioned those peddling false information and protesting over a water channel project undertaken by the state government at the Okutukutu and Opolo axis of Yenagoa, the state capital, to desist from the act.

He explained that the project was undertaken to mitigate the plight of residents around that area who were being affected by flood annually and not to satisfy any other interest.

On security, the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr. Ben Okolo, said the council resolved that all security agencies be incorporated into the state flood committee to ensure that the relief materials get to the victims.

Mr. Okolo noted that security would be provided for displaced persons at their camps.

He also issued a travel advisory to travelers from Bayelsa to Rivers and Delta states to wait till the flood recedes as the road to both states had been cut off.

The council also advised petroleum marketers not to take undue advantage of the situation to make arbitrary increase in the price of their products just as he warned criminal elements not to cause more pain for people that are already displaced from their homes.

Writing by Ibrahim Shehu and Alambo Datonye, editing by Annabel Nwachukwu