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Over 70 communities submerged as River Niger overflows its banks in Kogi

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Over 70 communities submerged as River Niger overflows its banks in Kogi

By Bukola Giwa

No fewer than seventy Kogi communities have been submerged under water as the River Niger overflows it’s bank due to three days of torrentian rainfall during the week.

Consequently, over 50,000 people have been displaced from their houses in different parts of the State.

Residents of some of the communities who spoke in Lokoja, on the sidelines of a stakeholders sensitisation/advocacy meeting on 2020 flood said that the flood had wreaked havoc in the affected areas.

They indicated that the communities had been experiencing massive flooding in the last five days.

The one-day meeting was organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in partnership with the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA).

One of the residents, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is also the Desk Officer in charge of ecological and emergency matters in Kogi Local Government Council, said that 66 communities had been submerged by flood in the area.

Abdullahi said that over 50,000 people had been forced to evacuate their houses and were now being accommodated in schools, filling stations and other makeshift buildings.

He said that some of the victims in Edeha and Koton Karfe communities had been sleeping on roads and other open places, co-habiting with mosquitoes and dangerous reptiles.

He said that schools had been closed as they had been converted to temporary camps for the victims, calling for urgent intervention from the State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The desk officer said that the victims had lost their means of livelihood to the flood, as their farms and livestock were also washed away by the rampaging floods.

Similarly, the Chairman of the Flood Committee in Ibaji Local Government Area, Mr Omonu James, said that floods had sacked thousands of residents from their houses in the area.

James said that the problem of the victims were compounded by the area’s terrain as it had no upland for them to relocate to .

Accordingly, he said, all the 26 schools in the council had been converted to camps for the displaced persons but said that the camps lacked basic facilities.

He said that one death, that of 17-year-old Michael Egwuaba, had been recorded since the floods started, but that the number could rise if urgent measures were not put in place to mitigate the effect of the disaster on the people.

In Lokoja metropolis, many residents living along the bank of River Niger and other flood paths have been forced out of their houses by the floods.

The situation is said to be very grim in the suburb communities of Egan, Konami, Buzih, Ebwa, Even, Lagan Budan, and Gbuje where residents had been forced to relocate to the neighbouring Niger State.

They appealed to the government to quickly come to the aid of the displaced persons, especially in the area of provision of water, drugs, blankets and mosquitoe nets for the victims.

Gov. Yahaya Bello who declared open the meeting said that substantial amount of money had been released to purchase drugs, food, water and other relief materials for the victims.

Bello, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, also directed that 21,000 youths recently engaged under the Federal Government’s public works programme be deployed to help in the rescue operation.

He said that maximum security would be provided for the personnel involved in search-and-rescue operation, promising that more succour would be provided for the victims.

The NEMA Director in charge of training, Mr Mohammed Usman, said that incessant flooding had become a serious threat to the country’s efforts at becoming self sufficient in food production.

Usman said that nine local government areas in Kogi were among the 102 in the country that had been identified as highly probable risk areas for flooding in 2020.

He called on the state government to urgently take preventive and mitigative measures to reduce the impact of the flood on people and the economy of the state.

He said that NEMA would also, in line with the Federal Government’s directive, assist the victims to find their feet and go back to farms as soon as possible.

Stakeholders at the meeting, including, the Red Cross, Navy, Civil Defence, Police, NIMET, fire services and the media all expressed their readiness to make their services available to the government.

The Navy, marine police, civil defence, Red Cross and the fire services assured that they had enough men and equipment on ground to confront the disaster.

Mr Julius Mejayan, Executive Secretary, KOSEMA, said that highlands had been identified and camps established across the nine local government areas prone to the disaster.

He listed the council areas as Bassa, Lokoja, Kogi, Omala, Idah, Ibaji, Dekina, Ofu and Igala-mela, warning that residents must be ready to move at any time from now.

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FG flags off cash grant distribution to rural women, WLWD in Katsina

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FG flags off cash grant distribution to rural women, WLWD in Katsina

In its bid to cushion the effects of covid -19 pandemic across the country, the Federal Government has flagged off the distribution of cash grant to rural women/women with disabilities in Katsina.

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Managemen and Social Development SadiyaUmar-Farouk, performed the symbolic distribution of the cash along side the Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons with Disabilities Mr James David Lalu Thursday.
The minister indicated that the program which has over 6,700 beneficiaries drawn from all rural areas of the state also have over one-third of the number of women with various forms of disabilities.

“The cash grant of #20,000 each to the beneficiaries is expected to reduce the economic hardship and stabilize income base of the beneficiaries.”

The Executive Secretary while admonishing the beneficiaries in general and women with disabilities in particular, charged them to judiciously make use of the funds to improve their living standards.

Speaking further the NCPWD boss said the  kind gesture being extended to women with Disabilities by the Federal government is a welcome development.
He said it is expected that the programme will be of great benefit to over 5000 women with Disabilities across the country.
He therefore expressed  appreciation to the president and world Bank for keying into the lofty projects.

The Executive Secretary also expressed profound gratitude to the Minister for always ensuring that Persons with Disabilities are included in her scheme of things.

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Community leader advocates Joint Hunters, Community Policing synergy to check crime

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Community leader advocates Joint Hunters, Community Policing synergy to check crime

By Friday Idachaba

National President, Egume-Ome Descendants Union (EODU) Alhaji Mohamed Ibrahim Lawal, has called for synergy between local hunters and community policing with security agents as plausible community security strategy.

Lawal who made the call at the Annual General Meeting of the Union held at Community Comprehensive Secondary school, Egume in Dekina local government area on Thursday said the call had become necessary to curb the rising crime wave.

He pointed out that the current trend of kidnapping and armed robbery had not only discouraged indigenes and stakeholders from the area residing in other parts of the country from coming home.

This, according to him, is adversely affecting general development and investments in rural communities in the country putting the livelihood and econony of rural and Community dwellers in jeopardy.

The National President commended the constitution of Conflict Resolution Committee on Farmers/Fulani herdsmen by the community saying that it had restored confidence and peaceful coexistence among the Herdsmen and Farmers in the area.

Lawal attributed the inability of the Executive Council of the union to implement its 2020 budget to the overwhelming security challenges and Farmers/Herdsmen crisis.

He said, “We can get it right if we embrace the right attitude, norms and skills in building the moral and social aspects of the Community”.

Mr Sunday Maji, national Vice President of the Union in his contribution, attributed the rising social vices among the youths in the community to laziness and “get rich quick syndrome” along youths.

Maji called on parents to ensure regular check on their children band wards to monitor their activities as government would not hesitate to deal with anybody caught indulging in criminal activities. (NAN)

FDJ/

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BOT approves 9 new Caretaker committee members for ICDA

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BOT approves 9 new Caretaker committee members for ICDA


By Friday Idachaba

The Board of Trustees of Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA), has approved the appointment of nine more members to reposition the Caretaker Committee of the socio-cultural association for efficient service delivery.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Dr Simeon Oyiguh and Mr David Ogwu, Chairman and Secretary of the Board of Trustees and made available to newsmen on Monday in Lokoja.

The statement said that nomination of the nine new members was aimed at fortifying the Interim National Caretaker Committee with the right personalities and capable hands to rijig the body for the task of repositioning Igala nation for a better tomorrow.

According to the statement, among the new nominees is Comrade Goodman Akwu, a Rights Activist, Ocholi Onoja, Yunusa Ilani and comrade Kabiru Tijani.

Others are Comrade Shitu Danjuma Jibrin, Prince Enema Sani Obaje, Barrister Ahmed Salifu, Comrade Emmanuel Omattah and Comrade Umar Oyibo.

The BOT however, called on the general public especially the Igala ethnic nationality to disregard the purported inauguration of a parallel Board of Trustees by some members of the defunct Executive Council led by Sadiq Amodu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the defunct EXCO was dissolved on June 15, by the Board of Trustees with the late Attah-Igala, Dr Micheal Idakwo Ameh-Oboni ll formally ratifying the dissolution.

The Royal Father also endorsed the constitution of a 20-member Interim National Working Committee to run the affairs of the formost socio-cultural association in the kingdom, the ICDA in the interim.

NAN further reports that with the injection of the nine new members, the Committee chaired by Chief Samuel Oyibo, the interim committee now has 29 members. (NAN)

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