Governor of Bayelsa State Senator Douye Diri has granted a seven-day vacation to the state’s employees.
People receiving vital services are not exempt, though.
The problems encountered as a result of the flood disaster wreaking havoc on the State made the time off imperative.
Additionally, he stated that there was a humanitarian crisis in the state, with over a million people forced to flee their homes in the Sagbama, Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, Yenagoa, Nembe, and Kolokuma Opokuma local government areas, in addition to businesses closing, homes being lost, and farms being destroyed.
Although the flood is a natural disaster that has affected many other States of the Federation to varying degrees, nearly a million people in over 300 communities in the State have been internally displaced, and some fatalities have been reported, according to Governor Diri in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday morning.
The state-owned Niger Delta University in Amassoma, the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital in Okolobiri, and the University of Africa in Toru-Orua, among other important pieces of infrastructure, he claimed, have all been adversely impacted.
Without exaggeration, Governor Diri claimed that the state could not tackle the destruction on its own due to its massive size.
“We urgently request the aid of multinational corporations, international donor organizations, the Red Cross, diplomatic missions, and goodwill individuals to help our state.
“I request that you, Mr. President, take into account making special grants from the Natural Resources Fund, Ecological Fund, and Stabilization Fund to the state.
Floods have devastated our towns over the past few days and had a significant negative impact on the lives and way of life of our people. This is a natural disaster that has had varying degrees of impact on several different Federation nations. I’ve visited a number of our communities to personally witness the depth of the damage. According to our expertise, floodwater drains into our state.
“In my opinion, the situation is critical. Internal displacement has affected more than 300 localities and affected close to a million people. Unfortunately, there have been a few documented deaths. Sagbama, Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, Yenagoa, Nembe, and Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Areas all share the same story. Farm areas have been damaged, residences lost, and businesses have closed. A humanitarian situation exists.
The state-owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma, the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, and the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, as well as other vital facilities like hospitals, roads, bridges, and schools have all been negatively impacted. As I deliver this speech, parts of the important East-West Road, the only route into and out of Bayelsa State, between Ughelli and Patani in Delta State and Okogbe and Ahoada in Rivers State have collapsed with a significant amount of flood water occupying the stretch. Food, medical supplies, and energy are now in short supply, causing economic hardship. The predicament is dire and getting worse.
“I want to sincerely thank Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, on behalf of the people of Bayelsa for ordering the various federal agencies to travel to the state’s aid. I kindly request that they quickly follow this presidential order.
Without exaggeration, the state cannot adequately address the devastation at its current level on its own. We urgently request the aid of multinational corporations, international donor organizations, the Red Cross, diplomatic missions, and goodwill individuals to help our state.
“Please consider making a special contribution to the state from the Stabilization Funds, Ecological Funds, and Natural Resources Fund, I beg you, Mr. President. I know that these are tough times for the people of Bayelsa State, but please know that I will be there for you at every stage of the healing process.
“The Bayelsa State Task Force on Flood Mitigation and Management has established IDP Camps and is distributing relief supplies for flood victims in coordination with the State Emergency Management Agency. Additionally, I’ve ordered that these relief items be distributed in a non-partisan manner. We are all Bayelsans first and foremost.
“I now order all public employees to take the upcoming week off from work, with the exception of those doing critical jobs. I want to specifically ask the sellers of fuel, food, water, and medicines not to take advantage of the situation. We must look out for one another.
The government has also noted that some criminals prey on the disadvantaged populace during these times of adversity. We continue to have zero tolerance for crime and criminality, let me be clear about that. I am aware that this issue affects us all, either directly or indirectly. I am also aware of the kindness and support you have given to one another during this difficult time. Your tenacity and unity have greatly impressed me. This embodies the true Ijaw spirit. I thank you everyone.
“We serve a supernatural God who will never abandon us. Be reassured and boosted by the advice in Isaiah 41:10, which serves as our state memory verse: The governor said the words, “Fear not; for I am with you; be not afraid; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help; yea, I will support thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”Bayelsa Douye Diri