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Travellers held hostage as Flood submerges parts of Abuja-Lokoja highway

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Travellers held hostage as Flood submerges parts of Abuja-Lokoja highway

From John Akubo, Lokoja

Another round of flood disaster may be lurking around the corner for the people living in Lokoja and even travellers who may be passing through the confluence city to other States in the North.
The water levels have continued to rise in Lokoja the Kogi State capital where Rivers Niger and Benue formed a confluence, torrential rains caused by waterfalls from the hills and mount Patti to overflow the culverts across the Lokoja-Abuja federal highway.
The natural disaster of 2012 brought with it great flooding of the roads which made them impassable. Many school buildings became refugee camps. Houses were submerged. Properties and infrastructures were badly affected. Farm lands, crops and animals were washed away.
The disaster was said to have destroyed property worth billions of Naira. It was one disaster that the people and the Kogi State government would not want experience.
The one day floods caused serious gridlock on the highway last Thursday for several commuters and motorists plying the Abuja-Lokoja road who were held hostage for several hours.
Several households were submerged
Some buildings collapsed around Felele because of the force of the run off water of over 3000billon cubic meters that comes from the mountains and hills.
Many residential buildings and shops around the river bank were submerged in the raging flood that lasted for about six hours.
However the water receded after many emergency measures were adopted including the clearing of the water pathway of debris and other blockages.
In the same vein, some portion of the Lokoja-Ajaokuta road was also flooded around the Ganaja village axis of the state capital caused by the overflow from the Niger river.
Within the week Igalamela and Adolu were flooded with about three communities completely submerged.
Similar reports of flooding also came from Idah, Ibaji, Bassa all within this week.
According to the State commissioner for environment Rosemary Osikoya the reports were pouring in torrents just as in Lokoja the flood also took over the axis around Ganaja Village and Gadumo.
She said as Government was trying to confirm the number of houses and persons that were affected, this morning Sarikin Noma was completely flooded and the community was completely cut off from Lokoja.
She said at the Nataco junction of the Abuja-Lokoja federal high way one lane was completely over ran by the floods making it difficult for commuters and motorists to continue their journey.
“Within the urban centers, Yagba East this morning was reported to be flooded.”
The Giardian observed that men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the police, Navy, Army and the civil defence corps were on ground to control the chaotic traffic situation after the water receded.
She said the Government was preparing the places that they had earlier earmarked for refuge situation.
“We have also notified our colleagues at NEMA hoping that we can get all the help that we anticipated before now.
She explained that the immediate action they have taken is about what they are doing, “from as early as 8am the officials of the State Emergency Management Board, the ministry of environment have been out because they have been living in readiness.”
She said in some of the places farm land have been submerged, while in others places in Sarkin Noma the houses were submerged.

The Lokoja Local Government administrator Shiru Lawal described the situation as devastating and catastrophic.
He said though it is a natural disaster, they were prepared for it because they knew it was going to come.
He prayed that there should be no rain over night again.
“You can see that so many houses have been submerged and many businesses have lost their assets. Though the place is coming back to life as a responsible Government we have set up a relieve camp in the primary school in Felele. “Though Governor Bello is in constant touch with the Presidency and DG NEMA for relief materials and other things that are necessary for the camp.”
He said they will continue to sensitize their people to move from where they are now to high planes.
“Most of them are already moving from the flood planes to higher planes.”

The special adviser to the Governor on multilateral and donor agencies Adoga Ibrahim said this is the time Kogi needs real assistance from the Federal Government and other international organizations to avert the situation in 2012.

“There are lots of technical support and fundings we need to get our people move to the designated camps.
A lot can not move because they are already homeless, they are sick and aged, pregnant, we have children all over.
Should there be another heavy rain over night we don’t know what will happen so need to move now.
“Kogi is a convergence States between the North and South, Look at the heavy traffic this rain has created, you can imagine if the 2012 flooding is repeated it means the north would be cut from the south.
“The Governor has placed a red alert and every appointee is out to ensure there are no casualties.”

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How two Police inspectors lost their lives in autocrash while helping to bury colleague

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How two Police inspectors lost their lives in autocrash while helping to bury colleague


Two policemen attach to the Kogi State police command, who were helping to convey the remains of their colleague to his family for burial, have also lost their lives in an autocrash.

NationalUpdate gathered that the two inspectors of police along with a civilian driver died on Thursday in a fatal auto crash on Itobe-Ojodu-Anyigba road.

The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state, Mr Solomon Aghure, confirmed the incident.
He told newsmen in Lokoja that the victims were travelling in an ambulance van to Anyigba with emppty casket when the accident happened.

Aghure added that the two deceased policemen were only offering their helping hands to pick the corpse of a police sergeant from a mortuary in Anyigba, adding that their vehicle and a Mercedes Benz truck, coming from the opposite direction had a Headon collissio at a spot in Ojodu community.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the police command in the state, DSP William Aya, who also confirmed the incident, said the two policemen were detailed to pick the corpse of the deceased sergeant at Anyigba and accompany it to Adamawa for burial.

Aya said the family of the deceased sergeant policeman requested that his remains be brought home for burial.

The police spokesperson said that the driver of the truck and his conductor disappeared immediately the incident happened to evade beingarrested.

He said that the corpses of the two police inspectors had been deposited at a morgue in Lokoja, adding that the civilian driver of the ambulance had been released to his family.

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AIG passes on to the great beyond 14 days to retirement

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AIG passes on to the great beyond 14 days to retirement

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 8,Lokoja, Kogi state, Mr Yunana Yukubu Babas has passed on to the great beynd barely 14 days to his retirement.
The Acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), for the zone, Inspector Ruth Awi, made the disclosure to newsmwn in Lokoja on Friday.

She indicated that Babas was hail and hearty on Wednesday when he reported in Office and was preparing for his retirement which would have come up in two weeks.
Awi explained further that on getting home, he took ill, adding that when the ailment did not abate, Babas was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre,(FMC), Lokoja for proper medical attention where he gave up the ghost at about 10.30 a.m on Thursday.
It would be recalled that two other police officers attach to the police command in the state, who were on a mission to convey the body of their late colleague from the state to Adamawa state lost their lives in an auto crash.

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Niger Government debunks report of plan to recruit 4,000 Youths to fight insecurity

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Niger Government debunks report of plan to recruit 4,000 Youths to fight insecurity

The Niger state government has described as baseless and untrue reports in some online media that the state government has concluded plans to recruit about 4,000 youths across the 25 local government areas of the state to fight the security challenge bedeviling the state.

The purported report was credited to the Commissioner for local government, community development and Chieftaincy affairs, Mallam Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji.
However, while dissociating himself from the story through a statement in Minna on Friday, Sarkin Daji said, the report trending in some social media is nothing but fake news adding that it is the imagination of the reporter.
The commissioner said the publication was the creation of the reporter, pointing out that he has not granted any interview or made any public statement to that effect in any forum.
He wondered where the reporter got his facts from.
Sarkin Daji who admitted that the state is faced with serious security challenges, occasioned by the activities of the armed bandits, said the government has no any immediate plan to engage the youths in the fight against armed bandits.
According to Sarkin Daji, while the state government welcomes the idea of the state policing to compliment the efforts of security agencies who have remained committed to the fight against armed bandits and other criminal elements across the state, the government has not approved the engagement of youths to fight insecurity.
The commissioner who expressed the commitment of the government to ending the activities of the armed bandits in the state, disclosed that over 2,000 local vigilantes have been mobilized across the state to compliment the efforts of the security joint TaskForce combating armed Banditry in the state.
He therefore urged the public to disregard the said publication, stressing that the state government will continue to give the necessary support to security agencies in the state to enable them win the war against armed bandits and other form of criminalities in the state.

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