The Presidency says calls for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development due to the flooding in Bayelsa, are not appropriate.
It says the scenes of flooding from Bayelsa state are deeply saddening, and that the Presidency’s thoughts are with the victims of the flood.
It however reminds the agitators that almost every state in Nigeria has been affected, stressing that no life lost is bigger or lesser than that of the others.
The Presidency admits that the challenge of bringing succour to the large number of displaced persons in Bayelsa and other states, the restoration of their damaged property and farmlands washed away have clearly overwhelmed disaster management efforts so far, rebuffing the insinuation that no efforts are being made.
It says the huge need for everything from foodstuff to tents, blankets and mosquito nets; antimalarial and other drugs clearly indicate that more resources are needed, not only by the disaster management agencies at the center but also by those at the state and local council levels that are structurally, the first responders.
In a statement, the Presidency says the Minister has been diligently working to target assistance where its most needed and plug the gaps in several state governments’ disaster responses.
Signed by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the Presidency commended Bayelsa State for its efforts at mitigating the situation.
“All these efforts are coming ahead of the report of the committee under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum, set up by the President “to fashion out solutions and then escalate their conclusions to the Federal Government, to alleviate the plight of people currently being ravaged by flood around the country.
This is just as more is being expected by way of international response and how much difference can be made by support from businesses and non-profits as the country deals with its worst flooding in decades.
We hope that everyone, the agencies of the Federal government, the states and the local councils will increase the attention to pay to the challenges of climate change.
Clearly, this is not a time for public reproach. It will only weaken our collective response to the tragedy, and ultimately hinder cooperation that saves lives and delivers emergency aid”, the Presidency states.
The statement says the government at the centre will continue to do more for Bayelsa and all states so affected as more and more resources are made available to agencies dealing with the situations.
Writing by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu