Post Flooding: Ata’ Igala Appeals to FG, International Communities to Reconstruct Ibaji road.
* Confers Chieftaincy title” Abeneche Ata’Igala” on Hyppadec MD. Yelwa.
The Ata’Igala HRM Matthew Opaluwa Oguche Akpa, has urged the Federal Government and international Communities to declare state of emergency on the deplorable highway linking Ibaji LGA to the other parts of the country.
The Royal Monarch, who is also the president, Kogi state traditional council made the call on Tuesday when the management of Hydroelectric power producing Development Commission HYPPADEC paid him visit to ascertain level of devastation caused by the flood in the area.
He said the call has become necessary as the level of damage is beyond the financial capacity of Kogi state and other intervention agencies.
He noted that the people who derive their livelihood from fishing and farming were cut off from the other parts of the country as the only linking road was completely destroyed by the last year flood.
He disclosed that if concrete and urgent steps are not taking to restore health facilities and electricity infrastructures and other social amenities, the people are at the verge of being afflicted with epidemics.
He added that asides the roads, Houses, schools and other infrastructures which were destroyed had rendered the inhabitants destitutes in their communities.
The Royal Majesty, commended the leadership of Hyppadec for their committment to alleviating the plights of the people, saying as Oliver Twist more is still needed to be done to help the people to pick up their social and economic lives.
He said the chieftaincy title of Abeneche Ata’Igala (Benefactor) was a mark of honour for his commitment to the improvement of lives of the kingdom.
In his reaction, the Managing Director of Hyppadec, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, said his commission has to embark on assessment tour of the areas to ascertain the level of devastation so as to identify areas to intervene for the people.
He informed the monarch that the commission has intervened in the area of provision of scholarships to students, reconstruction of affected schools, donation of Motorcycles to security agencies to boost security, solar street lights, medical outreaches and food items and clothing materials for the inhabitants.
He added that the quantum of financial requirements for the reconstruction of the main road , is beyond her budget, promised to engage aggressive advocacy to draw the federal and international organisations to the plight of the people.
Meanwhile, the Ejeh of Ibaji , HRH Ajofe John Egwuemi thanked the hyppadec for their constant palliatives to the area as a result of the devastation of the flood
He reechoed the call for the Federal Government to fastract the construction of the only access roads to Ibaji to ameliorate their sufferings.
He appealed to Hyppadec to provide transportation and speed boats to assist in the movement of people and goods to their destinations.
While lamenting the havoc done to the people by the collapsed roads, disclosed that tens of inhabitants have lost their lives to the collapsed roads.
He called on the management to continue to support the area by capturing all the ten wards in LGA in their data bank for total and effective coverage.
He charged Federal Government to commence total dredging of Rivers Niger and Bello , saying building Dams at Ibaji to absorb excess water thereby preventing yearly flooding that has put the lives of the people at risk.
In a remark, the Commissioner for Environment, Victor Omofaiye said the state government will continue to support flood prone communities, saying Ibaji’s plight is at the heart of the government.
He informed that the government is in synergy with intervention agencies in providing succour to the affected communities.
He commended the monarch and his people for the reseilence against the natural disasters as plans are underway to improve their livelihood.
Recalled that Last year flood submerged Ibaji LGA and other communities in Kogi that has brought untoward hardship on the people which requires all stakeholders to mobilise resources for reintegration of the people.