Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel has sympathised with his Bayelsa counterpart, Douye Diri, over the flood situation in his state, describing it as “extremely pathetic”.
Mr Emmanuel, who led a delegation of members of his cabinet to Government House, Yenagoa, on Wednesday, said it was his cabinet’s decision to visit Bayelsa based on the magnitude of the flood that hit the state.
He applauded the relentless efforts of Governor Diri in standing by his people in their moment of despair, describing his gesture as a mark of true leadership.
“With what I saw on television, l just could not stay. I did not know the extent of the damage the flood had caused the people of the state. My people played the whole video clip in our Executive Council Chambers and we were moved to tears. We decided at the meeting to be here to sympathise with you and your people.”
Mr Emmanuel said whatever affects Bayelsa also impacts on the people of his state since they share a common affinity in the Niger Delta.
“The destinies of millions of our people are tied to your own. You have tried to show that you care and restore hope. That show of care strengthens your people in spite of the dire situation the flood had put them in.”
The Akwa Ibom governor, who presented a cheque of N100 million to Diri, also announced that a truckload of relief materials courtesy of his wife’s Family Empowerment Programme Foundation was on its way to support flood victims in the state.
Responding, Governor Diri expressed gratitude to Governor Emmanuel for his show of love and brotherhood, describing the impact of the flood as immeasurable.
He said the only means of communication was by air and through the maritime domain as the roads into the state have been cut off as well as power supply with electricity transformers submerged in water.
According to the state’s helmsman, the level of destruction is unimaginable as 99% of people of the state were displaced safely to communities close to the Atlantic Ocean because of the salinity of the water.
“We see you not only as a friend but also as a brother. It is a trying time for us. This is the time we need leaders, not politicians. And you have proved to be a true leader. The cheque of N100 million will be judiciously used and accounted for. You have done what a brother should do.”
In a related development, Governor Diri has said the state was yet to receive any relief item from the Federal Government.
The Governor explained that although the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management said the Federal Government had sent relief items to 21 states affected by flooding, Bayelsa was yet to receive such items.
He thanked the Nigeria Air Force on behalf of the state for assisting the relief effort by airlifting food items that were procured by the state government