Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called on the federal government to immediately launch an independent Flood Disaster Relief Fund to provide succour to the victims of the floods across the country.
He made the call during in Yenagoa during a visit to Bayelsa to empathize with the government and people of the State over the flood disaster.
Describing the disaster as disheartening, the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar lamented its effect on the lives and economy of people of the state and called on the Federal Government and public-spirited individuals and organizations to support Bayelsa in this difficult moment.
The PDP Presidential candidate advocated the setting up of an independent flood disaster relief fund or a national emergency relief fund and a temporary fund for farmers to ameliorate their losses and provide them with capital for next year’s planting season.
He also urged the Federal Government to build the required infrastructure to contain excess waters, dredge the rivers and estuaries, pledging that if elected president, he would commit to completing the Dansi Hausa Dam in Adamawa State and take other necessary measures to ensure that the nation does not suffer such magnitude of damage as a result of flooding.
Alhaji Atiku who offered scholarship up to university level to children of the late footballer, Ernest Peremobowei, who drowned after saving five other victims of the flood in a boat mishap, donated fifty million Naira to flood victims in Bayelsa State and another five million Naira to internally displaced persons taking refuge at the Ox Bow Lake Pavillion in Yenagoa.
Responding, Governor, Senator Douye Diri, said people of the state were encouraged by the display of love by the former Vice President.
He lamented the slow response for help despite several efforts to get the attention of the relevant authorities and dismissed suggestions that the flooding was caused by rainfall, insisting that waters from the Lagdo dam and issues of climate change were responsible.
On Alhaji Atiku’s entourage were the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorcha Ayu, Acting Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Senator Adolphus Wabara, former National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, his campaign council spokesperson, Senator Dino Melaye as well as members of the National Working Committee of the party amongst others.
Reporting by Alambo Datonye; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu