3rd September, 2011
President Goodluck Jonathan today assured Oyo State Government and its people of Federal Governmentâ€™s assistance in rebuilding the bridges and roads destroyed by the recent flood in the state.
President Jonathan stated this today in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State when he paid a visit to assess the extent of damage caused by the six-hour rain which claimed over a hundred lives and properties worth billions of naira.
Before delivering his speech at the government house, Agodi, at a low key reception in his honour, President Jonathan requested for a minute silence in honour of the dead victims of the flooding.
Conveying the condolences of the Federal Government and his family to the state governor and the people of the state, the President said the flooding did affect the state â€˜significantlyâ€™.
He commended the state government and other emergency agencies for their prompt and effective response in providing succour to the victims and rehabilitate them.
He said that the Federal Government has concluded arrangements to send a team from the ministries of environment, water resources and works to liaise with the state government to see how the Federal Government would help in reconstructing the damaged infrastructure as well as provide assistance to the victims of the flood.
The president described the flooding as a national disaster, pointing out that it was very shocking to him when he heard the news.
The President, who visited the affected areas in Ibadan with Governor Abiola Ajimobi on a chopper said that apart from being the father of the nation who should be concerned about any unfortunate incident in any part of the country, he is passionately concerned about Ibadan because he did his youth service corps in the old Oyo state.
â€œI had my six weeks orientation as a corper at UI, so I am at home. I felt terribly worried about this incident. I have flown over to the affected areas, I have watched the video clips and I also watched how dead bodies were recovered. I pray that God will give the families of the affected victims the fortitude to bear their loss,â€ he said.
President Jonathan promised that the Federal Government would assist the state in rebuilding the bridges and roads destroyed by the flood.
Speaking earlier, Ajimobi presented a letter of request to the president detailing the areas where the state would need the assistance of the Federal Government on the devastation caused by flood.
He also said the magnitude of the disaster had overwhelmed government’s capacity and it had become helpless.
Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade 1 said that if the government had been alive to its responsibilities, maybe the disaster would have been averted.
Olubadan who spoke through his Otun, Chief Omowale Kuye said that channelization ought to have been done in the appropriate areas in the state.
In another development, Osun State Government has donated some relief materials worth some millions of naira.
Handing over the materials to the state government, Osun State Special Adviser on Environment and Sanitation, Honourable Bola Ilori in the company of the General Manager, Osun State NEMA, Engineer Segun Ajayi disclosed that 50 bags of rice, 500 blankets and 200 mattresses were donated to Oyo State.
He urged the people of the state to cooperate with Governor Ajimobi as he rebuilds the state.
Executive Secretary of Oyo SEMA, Pastor Amos Abiodun Abegunde said the state government appreciated the response of the neigbouring states in their efforts to help the surviving affected victims get their lives back on track.
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan