The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has criticised the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Federal Government to the ongoing floods ravaging the Niger Delta region especially Bayelsa State.
The IYC President, Peter Igbifa, said over 85 per cent of the entire Bayelsa was under water with about 100 deaths recorded in the last two weeks.
He demanded the deployment of presidential fleet to the state to rescue trapped victims and mitigate the damage already done by the flood.
Igbifa in a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, lamented that Bayelsa had been cut off from civilisation as the floods took over and washed away significant portions of the only road leading to the state, the East-West road, at both Rivers and Delta states’ axis.
The IYC boss described the condition of the people at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Bayelsa as terrible, crying out that the traumatized victims required urgent medical, food and cash deployment to avert starvation and outbreak of diseases.
He told Buhari that the situation was so overwhelming that all commendable efforts of the state Governor, Senate Douye Diri, to mitigate it had become like a drop of water in the ocean.
He said the IYC under his watch had also set up a flood relief committee to procure some materials and share to the victims, but insisted that his effort was not enough to avert the grave danger faced by the people.
He wondered why Buhari would maintain unimaginable aloofness to the state of his predecessor, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who willingly handed over power to him, abandoning his people at their time of need.
He said: “As we speak, former President Goodluck Jonathan is officially an internally displaced person. His country home has been submerged and the people of Otuoke like other people from different parts of the state are traumatised.
“Bayelsa’s case is pathetic and requires special intervention from President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government. The floods destroyed the East-West road, the only road leading to Bayelsa at both ends of Rivers and Delta. Therefore the entire Bayelsa is cut off and unaccessible by land.
“There is no movement of goods and services to the state. Trucks carrying foodstuffs, medicine and other items can no longer enter Bayelsa. The food available in the state before the floods had been totally consumed. Starvation is starring the people in the face and threatening to wipe them out of existence.
“The available IDPs are congested with serious fear of outbreak of diseases among the people. Our people are hopeless and helpless yet the federal government led by Buhari is carrying on as if all is well”.
Igbifa said the federal government would have risen and quickly undertaken emergency responses if the floods had affected the flow of crude oil in all the pipelines located in the state.
“If this flood had affected oil pipelines, the federal government would have been conducting emergency responses using high-powered boats and helicopters. But now that it affects only the people, they are behaving as if it doesn’t concern them. They place premium on oil more than human lives”, he said.
Igbifa called on Buhari to order special urgent humanitarian response to the Bayelsa case and rescue the dying victims of the Bayelsa flood