November 30, 2022

The president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has condemned the call for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, over her comments on flooding in Bayelsa State.

The presidency in a statement its Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, titled, “Devastating Bayelsa and other States flooding worrisome to Presidency, no time for reproach,” assured that the government at the centre would continue to do more for the state and all other states affected and noted that the call for Farouq’s head was not appropriate for now.

The statement read: “The scenes of flooding from Bayelsa state are deeply saddening. The Presidency’s thoughts are with victims of, and those affected by, the floods.

“However, calls from some quarters for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development are not appropriate in this climate.

“Almost every state in Nigeria has been affected.

“The Federal Government is concerned about what has happened in Bayelsa as it is with respect to the other states. No life lost is bigger or lesser than that of the others.

“The challenge of bringing succour to the large number of the displaced people in Bayelsa and other states, the restoration of their damaged property and farmlands washed away have clearly overwhelmed disaster management efforts so far but that is not to say no efforts are being made.

“The huge need for everything from foodstuff to tents, blankets and mosquito nets; ant malarial and other drugs clearly indicate that more resources are needed, not only by the disaster management agencies at the center but also by those at the State and local council levels that are structurally, the first responders.

“The Minister has been diligently working to target assistance where it’s most needed and plug the gaps in several state governments’ disaster responses.”

Recall that IsL had earlier reported that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs had been under attacks over her comments to the effect that Bayelsa, which is reeling under floods, was not among the ten most hit states, adding that Jigawa State was number one and worst hit than Bayelsa.

Her comment has led to series of calls, especially from the South-South, for her to throw in the towel for allegedly not living up to her responsibilities.

But the Presidency in her defence, said this was not the best time for public reproach, adding that the minister hab been diligently working to target assistance where it was most needed.

The Presidency stated that Bayelsa State government has done commendably well, adding, “but they certainly can do better with increased Federal assistance, which is still being delivered batch by batch.”

According to the statement, “All these efforts are coming ahead of the report of the committee under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum, set up by the President “to fashion out solutions and then escalate their conclusions to the Federal Government, to alleviate the plight of people currently being ravaged by flood around the country.”

“This is just as more is being expected by way of international response and how much difference can be made by support from businesses and nonprofits as the country deals with its worst flooding in decades.

“We hope that everyone, the agencies of the federal government, the states and the local councils will increase the attention to pay to the challenges of climate change.

“Clearly, this is not a time for public reproach. It will only weaken our collective response to the tragedy, and ultimately hinder cooperation that saves lives and delivers emergency aid.

“The government at the centre will continue to do more for Bayelsa and for all states so affected as more and more resources are made available to agencies dealing.”

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