NEMA boss, others escape mob attack by flood victims
DIRECTOR General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi and officials of the Agency escaped a mob attack by victims displaced by flood in Kaduna, during an assessment tour of the affected areas.
Many people were rendered homeless following a heavy downpour that resulted in the overflow of River Kaduna on Monday.
Sani-Sidi had arrived Kigo road new extension, where over 300 houses were submerged. There a crowd of displaced persons surrounded him, demanding for immediate cash compensation. Some of them insulted the NEMA boss verbally.
One of the victims said: “ It is unfortunate you people are here now after we have been rendered homeless since yesterday (Monday) by this flood. As you can see our houses from here, they are now in the middle of this sea of flood. We taught you will bring boats and canoes to rescue our properties, but you are here empty handed, just to come and watch and go to Abuja.”
It took the efforts of armed security agents and the community leaders in the area to calm the tension who had already surrounded the officials before they were spared from being attacked.
Sani-Sidi, who cut short his address to the flood victims said, “we are here to assess the unfortunate situation and see how we can immediately offer assistance,” adding that the government would come to the aid of all victims.
The situation among the victims, however made NEMA and the state emergency agency officials to cut short their assessment tour to other affected communities like Barnawa, Ungwar Rimi , Tudunwada among others.
Speaking with journalists, Alhaji Sani-Sidi, while reacting to the situation said, “I think this is normal when people are displaced, especially given the fact that they were not prepared for what happened, even though they have been warned.”
“You are aware that Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has issued the seasonal rainfall prediction which showed that all these states would experience flood, and now we have the situation at hand. As I speak, about 10 local councils were affected by this flood in Kaduna State, about 16 councils in Jigawa, about 17 in Kebbi, almost 20 local councils in Adamawa State, and other states that were mentioned in the NIMET prediction.
“The first thing to do now is to move them to a safe place. And we spoke with the management of Ahmadu Bello Stadium and they have agreed to give us a place here where we can have temporary accommodation for the flood victims. So that these people can have temporary accommodation pending when the flood recedes. We are going to provide them with food items and other materials.”
While reflecting on the reasons for the flood, Sidi further explained: “Certainly, you recall that in 2012 we had a similar incident that was even more devastated than what we are witnessing now. In 2012 when Cameroon released water from its dam, it is routine maintenance they carryout when their dam is going to overflow.