Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has commiserated with victims of Bayelsa State who were recently affected by the devastating flood which ravaged many parts of the state.
The former minister also lamented that the havoc and destruction caused by the rampaging flood cannot be handled alone by the state government and called on the Federal Government, international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the state, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Non governmental organisations as well as other spirited individuals to come to the aid of the victims.
This was also as Lokpobiri commended the timely efforts of the State governor Senator Douye Diri for providing the needed support to the people.
A statement signed by Mr. George Oji, media Adviser to Lokpobiri quoted the former minister as urging the Federal Government to take the lead role rather than leaving the state government to contend with the flood disaster alone.
Lokpobiri described the flood situation in Bayelsa as very deplorable, and urged the Federal Government to provide succour to the affected communities through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the NDDC as well as other intervention agencies and not encumber the state alone with the challenge.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that, “For most of us outside the state, we were shocked and saddened by the reports of the degree of damage to even hospitals and farmlands.
“We also appeal to all the stakeholders and other spirited individuals to show support in spite of their various political inclinations.
“I commiserate with my people and the state Government. I also commend Governor Douye Diri for standing with the people during this critical moment.”
While calling for joint efforts in support of the victims, the former minister urged that politics should be put aside at the moment, stressing that “assistance to the people of Bayelsa state at this critical moment should be offered beyond party politics but with show of humane support and solidarity.”
Lokpobiri, who also lamented that his home and that of his people in Ekeremor Local Government area of the state were also submerged, regretted that the past few weeks have been a harrowing experience for the Bayelsa Government and people of the state.
He further noted the agony and pain his people are currently experiencing as a result of the massive destruction of property, infrastructure, including roads and bridges within and outside the state, including the East-West road.
All these are in addition to several unspecified deaths, which were brought about by the strong currents of the flood.