President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday October 9, 2012 announced plans by the federal government of Nigeria to respond to the current ravages of floods throughout Nigeria.
The government has established a committee and in addition, billions of Naira has been slated to be spent in addressing the plethora of problems arising from this massive flooding.
Response to these floods so far is too slow and tepid at best and nonexistent at worst!
The proper thing for the president, the federal government and all strata of government in Nigeria to have done and should urgently undertake, is, a public demonstration of empathy and sympathy with millions of Nigerians who have suffered from these ongoing floods.
Secondly, the Army, Navy, the Air Force and other paramilitary assets and coordinates, should be massively deployed to serve as relief workforce as a matter of national priority!
It is the case that millions of Nigerians are suffering as victims of these floods. It is also the case that there are no evacuation plans by the various levels of government throughout Nigeria.
Nigeria’s ability to manage crisis is being severely tested. Thousands of homes are underwater and waterlogged. Millions of Nigerians are stranded and helpless in Amassoma, in Yenagoa, in Otuoke etc all in Bayelsa State.
Millions of Nigerians are similarly stranded across the majority of states nationwide. The Purpose And Role of Government in Nigeria in the circumstances should be questioned by all reasonable persons.
There have been unnecessary delays in the local, state and national response to this unfolding flood crises.
It is foreseeable and even predictable that the next stage of this flood crises would cholera and other waterborne and water-related, these, in addition to inflation, soaring food prices and a complex web of national mess, which are being overlooked or underestimated presently.
The price of petrol has gone up in Bayelsa and Rivers States, and so has the price of foodstuffs and much else. It is quite reasonable to extrapolate these experiences in Bayelsa and Rivers to other parts of Nigeria.
The ravages of floods nationwide and its consequences are being replicated from state to state; this is so, even in states or parts of Nigeria which are not directly affected by the floods.
Direct and indirect effects are being felt across Nigeria. Floods have disrupted and continues to disrupt millions of lives in Nigeria. Movement of persons, goods and services have been severely curtailed. Interstate commerce has been halted as roads and highways have been submerged in majority of Nigeria.
Nigeria road arteries are now clogged. And the direct translation of this is that, millions of Nigerians will not have their foods and other basic necessities delivered. Lives in Nigeria are be interrupted and disrupted.
Nigeria is not at war, and yet, so many federal roads are closed for days and endlessly!
This is a national emergency and it is a national security issue, it is in fact existential and government at all levels in Nigeria should see it and treat it and tackle it as such!