Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has said Bayelsa State is not among the ten most affected states by flooding, rather Jigawa, Anambra and Kogi tops the lists.
Official statistics from the Ministry, number of deaths recorded per state, number of people displaced, number of injuries, houses damaged, farm lands per hectares damaged as well as general population affected are some of the factors used in assessing the states affected most.
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In the 2022 flood data as at 24th October, provided by the ministry, death toll in Jigawa stood at 91, Anambra 77 while in Kogi 471,991 persons were affected.
In all 3,219,780 Nigerians were affected nationwide, while number of displaced persons stood at 1,427,370 persons and total deaths placed at 612.
Farouq and her ministry officials gave these explanations when they appeared on the Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
Her explanations, comes just as the State Governor, Duoye Diri had recently accused the Federal Government of neglecting the state in response to the floods despite being the nation’s cash cow.
Her reactions also comes contrary to perceptions held in some quarters that Bayelsa may be the worst hit, especially as the state is mostly below sea level.
It also contradicted claims recently made by the Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, that as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, she was not humane over the treatment of areas hit by floods in Bayelsa and other parts of the South, she said it is Jigawa that is the most affected by the current floods.
Recall that Clark had said: “We have a humanitarian minister that is not humane, who was only active to carryout school feeding of school children who were confined to their homes during the Covid-19 lockdown.
In her response, Mrs Farouq said the Ministry had taken relief materials to Bayelsa through the Nigerian Air Force.
She said it is not true that she is inhumane, noting that the flood disaster is a national issue and she is performing her duty to the best of her ability.
“Bayelsa is not among the ten most worst hit states, Jigawa is.
“Merely looking at me, you know that I am humane,” she said.
She also disclosed that there was an ongoing assessment of farmlands damaged with a view to compensating them.