Abuja — The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has called on the Federal Government to do all within its power to avert a repetition of the flooding that befell parts of the country in 2012.
This is contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Emma Eneukwu, on Tuesday in Abuja.
And in Ijebu-Ode in Ogun on Tuesday, no fewer than 1,000 farmers who are victims of the 2012 flood disaster received food items from the Federal Government
Eneukwu in the ANPP statement said the call was based on the recent prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), about the expected volume of rainfall in 2013.
"The attention of ANPP has been drawn to media reports about the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET)'s 2013 rainfall prediction, which it presented to the public over the weekend in Abuja.
"According to the agency's Director-General, Dr Anthony Anuforom, this year's rainfall pattern will not be different from what the country witnessed last year.
"He specifically mentioned that the annual rainfall amount was expected to be above normal in comparison to 2012 in the Northern states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Zamfara and their environs.
"We in ANPP commend NIMET for introducing zonal seasonal rainfall prediction in order to reach the grassroots; we maintain that this warning should not be taken lightly by the states and Federal Governments," he said.
He described last year "havoc-wrecking floods in several parts of the nation" as fresh in the minds of Nigerians, especially the victims.
Eneukwu recalled that the nation watched in shock as homesteads and farmlands were swept.
He, however, expressed concern over the slow response of the nation to the menace that followed the natural disaster..
" Worst still also, is the sudden release of excess water from the Lagdo Dam by the Cameroonian authorities, which displaced many communities in the country with colossal loss of property and some lives," he said.
The party's image maker said the party was also concerned because floods posed threat to the nation's food security and to the farmers.
Eneukwu stressed the need to be proactive and for government and other relevant organisations to avoid the renewal of rural-urban migration, unemployment, insecurity and general depression caused by the floods.
"It is a globally accepted truth that climate change will worsen environmental disasters and, therefore, nations are concentrating on mitigation and adaptation of strategies in order to curb the impacts.
He called on the Federal Government to begin the construction of more buffer dams as a matter of urgency, to create a sustainable water disposal infrastructure.
ANPP further urged that the construction should not be limited to the states affected by the floods but also in other states of the federation.
"As a party, we believe that our dear nation has the human and a natural endowment to effectively fight environmental disasters; all that is needed is for our government to be proactive in handling issues.
FG distributes food items to flood victims in Ijebu-Ode
No fewer than 1,000 farmers who are victims of the 2012 flood disaster at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun on Tuesday received food items from the Federal Government.
The presentation of the items, facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, had each of the farmers receiving 50kg bag of maize and 25kg bag of garri.
In his address, the Chairman of the Ijebu-Ode Local Government Council, Mr Rasaq Daddah, told the farmers not to allow the disaster to discourage them from farming.
Daddah, who noted that no amount of relief materials would fully replace the losses suffered by the farmers, said that what the government was doing was to ameliorate the effects of the floods on the affected farmers.
"The government is not unmindful of the fact that no amount of relief materials can fully replace the losses.
"Nevertheless, what the government is doing is to ameliorate the biting effects of the flood on the affected farmers who have spent a lot of time and resources in cultivating hectares of land for food production," he said.
Daddah, who stated that the importance of agriculture toward national development could not be over-emphasised, said his administration would continue to assist farmers.
"I wish to assure farmers in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area that we are prepared to implement policies and programmes that will alleviate poverty and uplift farmers and the entire citizenry.
"In our 2013 budget, we have made provision for distribution of fingerlings to fish farmers, training of farmers on modern technology and provision of farm tools among others," he said.
A representative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Semiu Sobanjo, said the distribution of the food items was to ameliorate the suffering of the affected farmers.
Sobanjo said that the Federal Government's plan for the farmers was beyond food distribution, assuring that government would continue to support farmers.
Some of the farmers who spoke, thanked government for the gesture and also pleaded with government to assist them with farm inputs for this year's cropping season. NAN