Traditional rulers of Bayelsa state have continued to count loses the state and its citizens have incured in the cause of the ravaging floods across the state.
Speaking at a press conference held at the instance of the state’s traditional rulers council in Yenagoa as part of efforts to further empathize with Bayelsans undergoing the harrowing impacts of the floods, the state traditional rulers through its Chairman, the Ibenanaowei (Traditional ruler) of Ekpetiama kingdom, HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo(Agara IV) have again, called on the Federal government to come to the aid of the state.
The Royal fathers averred that while oil and gas explored and exploited from the state were used for the development of all parts of the nation, the federal government has again like in other of its dealings with the state and Niger Delta region not shown enough commitment towards ameliorating the impacts of the flood in the state.
To this end, the royal fathers have also condemned what they described as misinformed and unguarded comments credited to the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Welfare, Hajia Sadiyar Umar Farouq on her statement that Bayelsa state was not in the 10 flood most impacted states in the nation.
The Kings said: “Today, I need not remind anyone that we well know that oil and gas resources used to lubricate the wheels of governance in Nigeria comes from the bowels of the land mass on which we stand. I mean from the bowels of the Niger Delta region where Bayelsa state is located.
“We also need not reiterate that our kingdoms and clans, our flood ravaged kingdoms and clans constitute crude oil blocks owned by persons and business concerns which regrettably, we don’t own, and even though the ravaging floods were still overwhelming, the gas flares are still burning-hot in our kingdoms and clans.
“We the royal fathers of Bayelsa state have observed that not only did the 2022 flood unleash unprecedented havoc in the state and beyond, but it has also opened the floodgates of ignorance on the subject of the misery floodwaters could unleash on a people who live on the flat arcuate lowlands adjacent the mighty Atlantic Ocean.”
The royal fathers who acknowledged that following the height of the ravaging floods, roads, schools, health, electricity and other public and private infrastructure in the state have been damaged, noted that the federal government’s complementary mitigation effort in the state have remained all-time low and conspicuously insufficient, this is just as the monarchs have warned that if the federal government does not come to the aid of the state, post-flood diseases and ailments would be on the increase in the state.
The traditional rulers commended the state governor, Senator Douye Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo as well as the state flood mitigation committee, state cabinet members, the duo of federal legislators from the state and members of the state House of Assembly for being in the forefront of cushioning the impact of the floods.
They further added that farm lands and animals alike have all been destroyed by the floods together with the total isolation of the state from other parts of the nation due to the cutting-off of the federal government’s East-West road and other access roads to the state, saying it would cost billions to fix damaged infrastructure in the state.
They added that: “In the recent meeting of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council (BY TRC), we took turns in expressing the extreme ordeals we had to endure together with our subjects for over a month. We didn’t mince words in condemning the complete absence of agents of statutory Federal Government agencies and ministries saddled with the responsibilities of rendering assistance at our domains at times such as these. Rather, we’re seeing oil workers in their coveralls safe in their shuttles, going about their greasy, oily business, all over our flood ravaged state.
“Pitiably, there’s no evidence yet about any intervention from the oil industry to the flood ravaged people of Bayelsa State. Could it be that they also wished us all dead? Well, being natural swimmers, though distressed and displaced like never before, most of us are still alive.”