The sensational claim without any justifiable empirical data by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farouq, last Thursday that contrary to perception in some quarters, Bayelsa State now reeling under floods, is not among the 10 most affected states in the country, has been described as ‘irredeemably rigged’, ‘manipulated’ and skewed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to ensure that federally redistributed relief materials and assistance from international and local donors are diverted to the Northern State of Jigawa State.
HURIWA wondered that if statistics about negative development could be manipulated for Ethno-religious mundane reasons to gain more relief materials to Jigawa State, how are we sure the 2023 general election won’t suffer the same ETHNO-RELIGIOUS NIGERIAN VIRUS?
Debunking the error-prone allegedly doctored statistics of the worst affected States by floods in 2022 as released by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) accused the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Ms. Farouk, who appeared at the ministerial media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja and made the assertion seeking to discredit the extensively held and scientifically established perception that Bayelsa State is amongst the few worst affected states by Floods, of regional and religious bigotry and favouritism by naming Jigawa state to be the number one and to state without justification that Bayelsa State is not even amongst the first 10 worst hit states. Nothing can be more illogical and puerile than this baseless assertion.
HURIWA recalled that reacting to the claim recently made by the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, 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, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management said Jigawa was the most affected by the current floods.
HURIWA recalled that Chief. 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 such an urgent situation of ravaging flood, she has decided to maintain a disquieting quietness. Bodies like the National Emergency Agency , were not able to take proactive measures. Where is the mother of the nation, the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari? Her fellow women are in deep agony, seeing their children dying of starvation and treatable minor illnesses, because there is no medication.”
Besides, HURIWA recalled that the Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency, says flood has affected no fewer than 1.3million people in the state just as SEMA in Bayelsa State faulted the claim made by the Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management minister by stating thus: “As at November 4, 96 deaths were reported with Yenagoa Local Government Area worst hit. The flood affected a number of farmlands, school buildings, health structures and other facilities. The flood also affected some 300 communities across the eight LGAs of the state. Preliminary reports and data available to SEMA and other agencies indicate that Bayelsa remained the most flood impacted among states in the country. The agency said among the worst affected areas in the state are Biseni, Tombia-Ekpetiama, Tombia-Amassoma Road, Akenfa, Akenpai, Igbogene and Swali, all in Yenagoa Local Government Area, as well as Kaiama, Odi, Otuoke, and Ogbia communities. Others include, Agbere, Odoni, Bulu-Oria, Agoro and Sagbama.
HURIWA reacted to the claims and counter claims on the state of floods in Nigeria by condemning the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management by failing to respect science but to rely on conjectures in reaching a determination that Jigawa with virtually no big Rivers compared to Bayelsa that is located virtually on top of massive Deep seas is worst affected by floods than Bayelsa State. HURIWA is therefore demanding from the minister to show proofs that she has actually visited the floods affected areas in such places as Anambra and Bayelsa States just as HURIWA ACCUSES NEMA of concentrating virtually 85% of the distribution of publicly procured relief materials to northern Nigeria.
“The conclusion reached by the minister with specific reference to scoring Jigawa State first was done just to curry favours and to be able to win more relief materials for her people the Muslim Northerners rather than to rely on SCIENCE and deliver appropriate relief materials to appropriate places,” HURIWA stated.