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BAYELSA FLOODING: Gov Diri Hails SDP Presidential candidate Over N10m Donation to Victims, Urges FG To Fund NDDC Adequately


BAYELSA FLOODING: Gov Diri Hails SDP Presidential candidate Over N10m Donation to Victims, Urges FG To Fund NDDC Adequately

Derivation principle should not be less than 50%, Says Prince Adebayo

Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State, has expressed gratitude to Prince Adewole Adebayo, Presidential Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), for donating N10 million to flood victims.

Governor Diri, who gave the commendation during a courtesy visit by the SDP candidate on Tuesday, urged the federal government to adequately fund the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), just as it has done for the North-East Development Commission, so that it can respond to natural disasters effectively.

BAYELSA FLOODING: Gov Diri Hails SDP Presidential candidate Over N10m Donation to Victims, Urges FG To Fund NDDC Adequately

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, described the flood as unimaginable, noting that the state would require a large amount of resources for the recovery process in terms of physical infrastructure and human resources lost to the flood.

According to Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor's media aide, the Governor stated that the federal government has been very quick in funding the North-East Development Agency in response to the flood in the north, to the detriment of other flood-ravaged states in the Niger Delta.

According to Diri, the fact that the NDDC has been kept inept, docile, and comatose speaks volumes about the federal government's insensitivity.

BAYELSA FLOODING: Gov Diri Hails SDP Presidential candidate Over N10m Donation to Victims, Urges FG To Fund NDDC Adequately

He regretted that the NDDC, which was supposed to be an interventionist agency, had become highly politicized.

The governor characterized as contradictory and nepotistic the situation in which the NDDC, which was established many years before the North East Commission, has had a sole administrator to run its affairs for a long time now, while its North East counterpart has a board that is fully funded and functional.

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Diri stated that the state has received some non-food items from federal agencies thus far, emphasizing that all relief materials airlifted to the state by the Nigerian Air Force were procured by the Bayelsa government.

He also stated that the people of the state were suffering from skyrocketing prices of petroleum products and foodstuffs as a result of the East-West road's damaged infrastructure, rendering the state nearly inaccessible.

In his words:"We want to use this opportunity to reiterate our call on the Federal Government which has been very swift in funding the North East Development Commission to respond quickly to flooding in states in the north.

"We believe such should also be done for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The fact that the NDDC had been left comatose for so long is an insensitivity on the part of the Federal Government.

"The NDDC is an interventionist agency that had been so unduly politicized and had become the fishing port for ministers of the federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

"We want to thank you for this auspicious visit at this time. All the major tributaries empty their volume of water in Bayelsa which lies about 1.5 metres below sea-level.

" We are very happy you have come to see things for yourself, because the magnitude of damage here is not only colossal but very daring and unimaginable. It would require huge amount of resources to recover in terms of infrastructure."

Earlier, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Presidential candidate, Prince Adewole Adebayo, stated that N10 million was donated as part of intervention efforts to alleviate the impact of the natural disaster that has ravaged the people for the past few weeks.

While expressing condolences to the government and people of Bayelsa for the devastation caused by the natural disaster, the SDP presidential candidate said he was saddened by what he saw upon entering the state.

Alluding to the recent comments by the Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Sadiyat Farouk about Bayelsa not being among the top ten most flood impacted states, Prince Adebayo condemned what he described as stay-at-home analysts who make comments on things they have not seen.

He claimed that the resources available to states, particularly those in the Niger Delta, were grossly insufficient to address the issues confronting them, and he advocated for a 50% derivation principle.

He said:"In view of the wealth of resources coming from here l was expecting to see federal agencies making some interventions concerning the flood. As a way of our intervention, we are making a modest contribution of N10 million. 

"As a way of according a national recognition to the issue of flooding, a national appropriation bill should be put in place to address this problem.

"The debate about restructuring is not academic nor political but a pragmatic common sense. It stands to reason that we should not take away all the resources from those who can immediately intervene and put it in the hands of people who are too far away from the reality on ground.

 "So l see no reason why derivation principle should be less than 50%. And this is not a pro-Bayelsa statement but a pro-common sense statement." he said.

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