The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 election, Mr Peter Obi, has expressed surprise that the Federal Government had yet to respond three weeks after massive flooding hit Bayelsa State.
Obi said flying into the state in a chopper gave him a better aerial view of the situation and that the state needs urgent help.
Obi spoke, yesterday, in Yenagoa, the state capital, when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Douye Diri at the Government House before they both visited internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the Oxbow Lake Pavilion camp in Yenagoa.
He lamented the hardship experienced by people of the state as a result of the floods and wondered why the federal government had not sent a high-powered delegation to the state with a view to providing assistance for the people.
While calling on the Federal Government to declare an emergency over the flooding in parts of Nigeria with Bayelsa as a case in point, he remarked that as a state that is strategic to the economy of Nigeria, it deserved more from the centre.
He called on the international community, donor agencies and public-spirited individuals and organizations to assist the government navigate through this difficult moment.
Obi lauded Diri’s handling of the situation so far and urged him not to give up while promising to stand with the people in their trying moments.
The Labour Party presidential candidate said he decided to suspend his campaign to sympathize with the people of Bayelsa and other states affected and promised not to resume campaigns until this phase of flooding was over.
He noted that though as governor he experienced the 2012 floods, the current one was more devastating.
Responding, Diri lamented the impact of the flood, which he said has claimed lives, property and destroying the economy of the state.
The Bayelsa governor acknowledged the concern showed by President Muhammadu Buhari by directing federal rescue and disaster management agencies to assist the state. He however noted that the directive was yet to be adhered to.
The state’s helmsman assured people of the state that his administration will continue to stand with them and spare no effort in providing relief to victims of the flood.