This Day (Lagos)

28 November 2012

Nigeria: NAFDAC, Benue First Lady Offer Help Too

The victims of Makurdi flood disaster heave a sigh of relief as both the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Dr Paul Orhii and the wife of the Benue State Governor, Mrs. Yemisi Suswam brought smiles on their faces at various camps in the state recently.

The NAFDAC DG donated over 700 bags of rice, some drugs, beverages and essential items to the victims of the ravaging flood in Benue State.

The over N20million worth of relief materials which were brought to the state by the NAFDAC Director General in the company of top management staff of the agency were handed over to the Benue State Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, for onward distribution to the victims in all the designated camps established by the state government.

The NAFDAC Director General's estimable donation to the flood victims in Makurdi was said to be the single largest by any organisation, individual or group apart from the state and federal government donations.

"It came at a time when it became obvious that the level of the devastation in the state was far beyond the scope of the state government," said a government official.

And after undertaking a comprehensive tour of parts of Makurdi and Guma local government areas of the state to assess the level of damage, he told newsmen that the level of the devastation in the state was unimaginable and far beyond the scope of the state.

According to Dr. Orhii, "After going round the flooded areas of the town I discovered that the devastation was calamitous and far beyond what we thought before coming here".

"The level of damage and loss is in the range of billions of Naira and the truth is that what we have in our hands is far beyond the scope of Benue State government hence the need for the intervention of well meaning and public spirited Nigerians in this trying moment of our national life", the NAFDAC DG added.

Orhii also undertook a tour of the designated resettlement camps in Wurukum, Saint Catharine Primary School, Wadata areas of Makurdi town to meet with the victims of the flood.

Addressing the internally displaced persons at the camps, the Director General assured the victims saying, "We in NAFDAC are concerned about your health and that is why we have come to ensure that the food, water and drugs you are taking in the camps are of good quality".

"We also brought you 700 bags of rice, drugs, beverages and other essential commodities needed for your daily upkeep. Our team will also ensure that whatever you are taking does not fall short of the right standard".

He assured the victims that more relief materials and drugs would be supplied them in the coming days and weeks.

Receiving the items, on behalf of the victims, Governor Gabriel Suswam, lauded Dr. Orhii whom he described as a man with the heart of gold.

"Only if all Benue sons and daughters in positions of authority would emulate your footsteps our dreams for our state would be achieved. The people of this state would remain eternally grateful to you for this singular gesture", Suswam added.

The Governor's wife Mrs. Yemisi Suswam followed the distribution of the relief items by having an independence party organised by her office for the children of the displaced persons at LEGA camp Wurukum a day later.

She lamented the magnitude of destruction caused by the flood that ravaged families, homes, property and several investments. She said that pragmatic steps should be taken by leaders of the country to avert this in future.

"This is indeed pathetic. I was touched by the plight of the children affected by the flood which most of them do not even know how it happened. These children are the future of this country and there is need for spirited individuals and organisation to do more for them," Mrs. Suswam appealed.

The Benue first Lady had earlier visited all the camps in Makurdi where she made donations of food items, sanitary products, toiletries and clothes to the internally displaced persons.

Suswam who is also the chairperson of Northern Governors' Wives Forum stressed the need for deeper reflection by Nigerians, adding it is only through collective effort, "that we can achieve our goals as a nation."

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