Comrade Morris Alagoa, an environmental rights activist, has urged the Bayelsa State Government to broaden its dragnet of flood relief distribution beyond political considerations to include civil society organizations, media organizations, and unions, whose personnel are also heavily impacted by the monster floods ravaging local communities in the Niger Delta, including the state capital, Yenagoa.
Comrade Alagoa made this appeal in Yenagoa on Sunday in a viral video on his Social Media handle, urging the Bayelsa State Government of Senator Douye Diri to declare two-week public holidays for civil servants to allow most of those affected by the ravaging floods to have some respite with their families, as most have relocated or are temporarily sheltering in make-shift settlements as Flood Displaced Persons (FDPs) across the state.
“As you can see, this is the first time I’ve seen flood since 2012, when the first of this magnitude occurred a decade ago.” My flat and office are both inundated as a result of the massive flood. My family and I are going through the worst time of our life.
“We believe that the Bayelsa State Government has provided flood relief to impacted residents.” Politicians, on the other hand, use it to boost their egos. However, I believe it would have been preferable if respectable Civil Society groups, whether entirely Ijaw or not, served as Volunteers with SEMA to distribute the things or funds and report back to the government.
“I am, therefore, urging Governor Diri to recognize that, aside from political considerations, there are Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), as well as media organizations and unions such as the NUJ, who are all working to raise awareness on the plight of affected flood victims, and as such (we in these sectors) deserve the special flood palliative too, to cushion the impact of the flood on our families, as most of us in these foregoing
“As a result, we are urging Senator Diri to include these Special groups – CSOs, FBOs, and Media Unions and Organizations – likewise affected by the flood in the distribution to ensure transparency, accountability, and public trust in the process.” Alagoa finished.
While criticizing the flood community’s sharing formulae, Comrade Alagoa urges the state government to look beyond political affiliations and involve CSOs who are more dependable and transparent in reaching out to the needy and impacted food victims rather than politicians who may have vested interests because not all victims are members of political parties.
Governor Diri had earlier this week announced the release of N450 million for flood victims through the Commissioner for Environment, Eselema Gbaranbiri-led Flood Committee, which has been accused of being slow in mitigating the effects of the flood on victims and homes and FDP camps that have yet to be officially designated.
In the absence of a state government formal proclamation for an IDP camp, most families have taken over public school buildings and unfinished property in the state capital.