Dickson seeks N1.5bn emergency fund for displaced persons

Samuel Oyadongha

09 October 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa, Bayelsa – Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson yesterday requested the state House of Assembly to approve the sum of N1.5 billion, from the State’s Compulsory Savings Account to tackle the flood menace ravaging communities in the state.

Though the House was billed resume sittting on October 16, 2012 from its two months recess the Speaker, Hon Kombowei Benson said it was compelled to hold an emergency sitting yesterday because of the emergency because of the ravaging flood that had sacked several communities in the state.

The letter dated October 9, 2012, which was read to the lawmakers by the Clerk of the House, Mr. Aaron Timiye requested the state House of Assembly to approve the release of the fund to enable the state government intensify relief efforts and other urgent expenditure to salvage the ravaging flood situation in the state.

Dickson had in the letter to the lawmakers stated that the request to spend from the savings account was due to the urgent need to respond positively to the devastating effect of the flooding that had rendered many families homeless across the communities in the state.

Part of the letter read: “It is common knowledge that our state has been ravaged by flood; there is therefore urgent need for government immediate intervention to ameliorate the sufferings of our people.”

Speaking on the development, Reacting to the governor’s request, the Speaker, Hon. Benson said, “the flood situation in the state is unprecedented. There is no community that had been spared. I know that a total of six local government councils had been worse hit by this disaster that is threatening to wipe away our state.”

According to the Speaker, government had put a lot of efforts in place since the commencement of the flooding, with the inauguration of the Emergency Relief Committee and the opening of temporary camps to accommodate victims of the flood.

The Speaker, who expressed shock at the increasing tide of the flood, said the situation had put so much pressure on the state government.

“I wonder how the state will be able to cope with the pressure occasioned by this disaster,” he lamented.

He called on the federal government to as a matter of urgent public importance, address the immediate and remote causes of the flooding that had ravaged many communities across the states of the federation, with a view to forestalling future occurrence.

The Speaker sought the leave of the House to throw the governor’s request for debate on the floor of the House, so that members can make contributions before a critical consideration of the urgency of the request.

In his contribution, Leader of the House, Hon. Peter Akpe moved a motion for the debate on the request from the governor to be moved to today (Wednesday) to allow for an elaborate debate on the issue and seconded
by Hon. Gentle Emelah.

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