Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a “state of national disaster” over recent flooding in the country.
Bello made the appeal on Saturday in his address to mark the country’s 62nd independence anniversary.
Nigeria is currently experiencing a series of flooding across states, especially in the North, including in Kogi.
This, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has led to the displacement of over 100,000 people, while over 200 deaths have been recorded in 2022.
Speaking on Saturday, Bello said he is deeply troubled by the suffering that Nigerians are facing due to the flooding.
He said the emergency declaration would help to unlock the nation’s capabilities to respond better to the situation.
“I make a passionate appeal to the father of the nation, his excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, to declare a state of national disaster due to flooding in Kogi and other similarly affected states,” he said.
“The president may wish to recall that he made such a declaration in response to the 2018 flooding, and the floods this year are projected to be much worse than anything we saw in 2018.
“Thus, while thanking his excellency for what the federal agencies are already doing, I implore him to give us the help our people so desperately need at this time.”
Bello said flooding had affected nine LGAs of Kogi along the Rivers Niger and Benue, including Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala.
The governor said flooding in Kogi happens annually and, as such, a lasting solution must be proffered.
He, however, added that his government had activated its early response systems to ensure every person affected receives help.
“As a leader, it is clear to me that I must make an attempt to break this vicious cycle, if not for all, then for as many victims as I can and I am making proposals for permanent solutions,” he said.
“In Lokoja, road shoulders along the banks of the River Niger from the entrance of the city in Natako will be widened to establish a sufficient buffer zone between the city and the river.
“Ganaja junction to Ganaja village road has also been recently re-awarded to a more efficient contractor and we will see to it that when work commences, efforts will be made to raise the road above the water levels mentioned.”