The Presidency has dismissed the call for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, over Bayelsa Flooding.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made this position known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja
Mr Shehu said although scenes of flooding from Bayelsa were ”deeply saddening”, such calls for the minister’s resignation ”are not appropriate in this climate.”
According to him, the presidency’s thoughts are with victims of, and those affected by the floods, noting that every state in Nigeria had been affected by the disaster.
He said: ”The Federal Government is concerned about what has happened in Bayelsa and other states. No life lost is bigger or lesser than that of the others.
”The challenge of bringing succour to the large number of the displaced people in Bayelsa and other states, the restoration of their damaged property and farmlands washed away have clearly overwhelmed disaster management efforts so far but that is not to say no efforts are being made.
”The huge need for everything from foodstuff to tents, blankets and mosquito nets; antimalarial and other drugs clearly indicate that more resources are needed, not only by the disaster management agencies at the center but also by those at the State and local council levels that are structurally, the first responders.”
The presidential aide affirmed that the minister had been diligently working to target assistance where its most needed and plug the gaps in several state governments’ disaster responses.
He also noted that Bayelsa State Government had done commendably well ”but they certainly can do better with increased Federal assistance, which is still being delivered batch by batch.”
Mr Shehu stated that ”all these efforts are coming ahead of the report of the committee under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum, set up by the president
The committee is mandated to fashion out solutions and then escalate their conclusions to the Federal Government, to alleviate the plight of people currently being ravaged by flood around the country.
”We hope that everyone, the agencies of the Federal government, the states and the local councils will increase the attention to pay to the challenges of climate change.
”Clearly, this is not a time for public reproach. It will only weaken our collective response to the tragedy, and ultimately hinder cooperation that saves lives and delivers emergency aid.
”The government at the centre will continue to do more for Bayelsa and for all states so affected as more and more resources are made available to agencies dealing,” he further reassured.