The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, has accused the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, of bias following her recent comments that Bayelsa is not among the top 10 states impacted by the flood.
The IYC President, Peter Timothy Igbifa, described the minister’s statement as unbelievable, irresponsible, insensitive and provocative and called on Muhammadu Buhari to probe her handling of the disaster across the country.
He said: “The entire state was under water. Houses were submerged to roofing levels, all farmlands were swept away, many people died including people from the same families. All public institutions, markets, schools, worship centres were all submerged.
“Bayelsa’s case remains peculiar and unfortunate. The state was cut off from the rest of the country and her neighbouring states because the flood submerged and destroyed the East-West road, the only road that leads to Bayelsa, from both the Delta and Rivers axis.
“There was a humanitarian crisis already because food-bearing vehicles could not access the state. The situation was so terrible that sympathisers flew into the state to identify with the state.
“What exactly is the minister saying? Did she travel to the Mass or Pluto when all these things happened? Is she playing party or ethnic politics? We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the minister and how she handled the assignment he gave to her concerning the flood”.
Igbifa reminded the minister that Bayelsa remained one of the states sustaining the country economically and that the minister’s remarks showed the federal government failed to identify with the state in its most terrible time.
“If the flow of crude oil had been affected, if the flood had destroyed all the oil pipelines criss-crossing the state and damaged other oil installations, maybe, the minister would have ranked Bayelsa first.
“But maybe because it affected the Ijaw people and destroyed all their livelihoods only, that is why the minister chose to side with his people in the north. We won’t accept this obvious injustice, marginalisation and we are waiting for concrete action from the Presidency against the minister, who has turned a disaster”.