Kogi Flood: FCT minister of state seeks emergency intervention
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has appealed to the Federal Government to aid the Kogi State Government with relief materials for communities devastated by flooding in some parts of the state.
Mr Austine Elemue, Special Assistant on Media to the minister in a statement, on Thursday in Abuja, said Aliyu made the appeal at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
The minister expressed fear of a possible outbreak of communicable diseases if urgent steps were not taken to ameliorate the suffering of the people.
Elemue quoted Aliyu as highlighting the importance of the Lokoja and Abuja expressway as a major link between the North and Southern parts of the country.
She expressed concern that significant man hours were being wasted on the road due to the gridlock caused by the flood.
The minister said: “Access to shops and hospitals are now by canoes and ferry boats. Houses were submerged to the roof-top, while smaller buildings were completely submerged.
“We fear an outbreak of diseases. We need medical attention. Some have no food or clean drinking water.
“As it is, from the Koton Karfe area before the bridge, commuters spend more than 11 hours on that stretch with no food and water.”
Aliyu, while commending the state government’s decision of evacuating persons living along the low plains, called for urgent federal intervention before the flood got to the upper land as it was already threatening to do.
She said: “In some areas that are very deep, they had to evacuate them to the upper land, but even at that, it keeps coming. As of yesterday, the level had increased.
“Your Excellency, may I use this opportunity to draw your attention and the attention of the Federal Government to seek support for the people of Kogi State and Kogi State itself,” she appealed.’’
Aliyu, who also drew FEC’s attention to the danger the road posed to commuters, however, said that several trucks could have plunged into the river, but for the insight and expertise of the drivers.
“Your Excellency, this is one of the gateway cities and the major road that links the north and south. This portends danger especially for passersby who may not be conversant with the area, like the luxurious bus operators.
“This is because the bridge has been submerged in the last three to four days and that in itself is scary.
“This is the reason I call your attention and the attention of the FEC.
“As I also seek the support of my sister, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, who has always been there for areas in dire need, to also look into this for quick intervention.
“Your Excellency, this, I wish to bring to your attention, that it is a looming danger, from disease outbreak to death, as we have already recorded four casualties”.