Bayelsa Governor Urges Federal Government to Declare National Emergency Over Flood

Bayelsa State Governor, 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.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as lamenting the magnitude of this year’s flooding, which he noted had surpassed that of two thousand and twelve.

The state’s helmsman 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.

Speaking at the end of the Security Council meeting, the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Mr Ben Okolo, said the council resolved that all security agencies be co-opted 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.

He said council 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.