31 August 2017

Nigeria: Buhari Speaks On Benue Flood That Has Displaced Over 100,000 People

Photo: ICIR Nigeria
(file photo).

President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken on the flood in Benue State that has displaced about 100,000 people, according to official estimates.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the flood displaced the residents of 24 communities.

The Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA,Boniface Ortese, said on Wednesday that over 2,769 households are affected by the flood.

In a statement on Friday, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said Mr. Buhari "has received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue State, which, according to early estimates, has affected thousands of homes and displaced more than 100,000 persons in 12 local government areas."

"Consequently, the president has directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately mobilise personnel and resources to come to the aid of the victims of the flooding.

The president is closely monitoring the situation, and will be receiving regular updates on the scale of the disaster, as well as the federal government's humanitarian response.

"The president extends his sympathies to the government and people of Benue State, and assures that the federal government will make available any assistance needed to enable the state government and the affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding," Mr. Shehu said.

Speaking on the flood, Mr. Ortese told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Makurdi that places affected included Achusa, Idye, Wurukum Market, Genabe, Industrial Layout, Demekpe, Wadata Market, Katungu, behind the Civil Service Commission, Agboughul-Wadata among others.

"In Achusa, 200 houses were affected with 5,125 persons displaced. In Idye 217 houses were affected while 5,200 persons were displaced.

"Also, behind the Civil Service Commission 200 houses were submerged in flood and 5,777 persons were displaced," he said.

Benue is not among the states the federal government announced would receive N1.6 billion each to mitigate the impact of floods in their state. The directive to give the money to the 16 states was given by the then acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, in July.

Officials in beneficiary states such as Plateau, however, say they are yet to receive the money, which was supposed to be taken from the Ecological Fund and disbursed through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to the affected states.

Officials in Benue, however, say the state should be included among the beneficiaries due to is experience with flood this year.

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