October 22, (THEWILL) – In continuation of his assessment of the flood situation in Bayelsa State, Governor Douye Diri was in Otuoke, the hometown of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, in Ogbia Local Government Area on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists, Governor Diri lamented the degree of destruction caused by what he described as an “attack by natural disaster” on the livelihood of Bayelsans.
He stressed that Otuoke, which is the host community of a federal university, had been submerged and most of the locals displaced, including the home of Dr Jonathan.
The governor, however, urged the people not to despair even in these trying times, assuring them that the state government had put in place machinery to provide relief materials and medical assistance to victims of the flood.
He equally empathised with the former president, who he said is now also internally displaced as a result of the flood.
He said: “As we have seen in other local government areas in the state, we have come to Ogbia and parts of Southern Ijaw today. I had been to Ayama-Ijaw and Azikoro communities in Yenagoa, which is also badly hit.
“Now I am in Ogbia, precisely at the residence of the former president of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan. You can see the degree of destruction here in Otuoke. The water current is as if there is a river here.
“This is what I have been saying. Bayelsa is under attack from natural disasters. The whole premises of our former president and the community is under attack. And this is where you also have the federal university. This situation makes the former president an IDP.
“To our citizens, particularly in Ogbia local government, I came to see things for myself in Otuoke and to bring you hope. I came to also let you know that you are not alone in these trying times that we are all going through in our state.
“We have put in place machinery that is going round the state in terms of relief materials and medicines. The Ministry of Health is fully mobilised for that and I am sure they will be here in no distant time.
“Let me also use this opportunity to empathize with my leader, the former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who has joined me as one of the IDPs because I was one of the first victims in my community.”
Diri again solicited the help of well-meaning Bayelsans, corporate organisations and the federal government to enable the state to overcome the present unfortunate situation.
The governor, who learnt about the demise of military personnel attached to the residence of the former president, expressed his sympathies with Dr Jonathan, the family of the deceased and the Nigerian Army.
He also visited the former president’s mother, Madam Eunice Jonathan, in the community and assured her that the state government was with her and the people of Otuoke.
Earlier, the governor visited displaced persons at Azikoro community in Yenagoa Local Government Area and Ayama-Ijaw in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, where he thanked a former commissioner in the state, Doodei Week, for providing a safe ground for displaced persons.
He presented cash gifts to those in the camps, including a woman that gave birth.