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Collapsed Ozuma Bridge: PDP, Sowore Lambast Kogi Governor Bello, Deputy

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The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), in Kogi State has taken a swipe on Governor Yahaya Bello over the collapse of Ozuma Bridge, in Okengwe, under Okene Local Government.

The PDP in a statement signed on Tuesday by the Director Media and Communication Dayo Onibiyo, described the development as sad and dangerous, noting that the collapsed Bridge in the home town of Governor Bello was unfortunate.

He said the collapsed bridge, which was allegedly constructed with substandard materials gulped several millions of naira under another wasteful scheme.

The collapsed bridge according to the PDP had further exposed road users’ lives to unnecessary dangers, rather than serve the purpose it was constructed for.

“It is unfortunate that the administration of Yahaya Bello could not point to any completed project since it came to power, five years ago.

“We, therefore, advise Yahaya Bello to borrow a leave from the PDP in the state on how it successfully completed the notorious Meme Bridge and others, without exposing the lives of our good people to any danger,” he said.

Onibiyo called on the Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON) and Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to come to the aid of Kogi State and to avoid other impending dangers.

He also called on the relevant authorities to investigate the failed bridge and ensure that standards were complied with in execution of projects in Kogi State.

“We are afraid that the supposed ongoing flyover, under construction at Ganaja junction Lokoja is at same heavy risk, if not worse, if a mere bridge can collapse under a week of its assumed completion by the same government,” he said.

Similarly, a human rights activist, and pro-democracy campaigner Omoyele Sowore on his Facebook page also mocked the Kogi State Government saying “Gov. Yahaya Bello and his Deputy, Edward David Onoja are the worst leaders to govern any state in the world. They constructed a bridge in Okene that collapsed in less than a week. What did Kogi people do to deserve these cruel men in the helm of their affairs?”

Sowore in another Facebook post blasted the government for their poor infrastructural development in Kogi State.

His words” This is the road in Ankpa area of Kogi state that Chief Edward David Onoja recently commissioned with one of the rogue legislators representing the state, who did Kogi people offend to have these characters as ‘leaders?’”

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28 States in Danger of Severe Flooding, Water Resources Minister Warns

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Adamu dropped the hint at the public presentation of the 2021 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) in Abuja.

He listed the states to include Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, FCT, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Kebbi.

Others are Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.

The minister noted that the 2012 flood brought about massive destruction of lives and property across the country.

This, he noted, necessitated the putting in place, of proper mechanism to prepare Nigerians to confront the disaster whenever it occurred.

According to him, the NIHSA forecasts have increased the awareness in the citizenry and led to taking measures to prevent severe flood damage.

“This year, we will be grappling with the two threats of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the impending floods as predicted in the AFO.

“The flood projections show varying severity across parts of the country.

“In summary, the 2021 AFO forecast indicates that 302 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 36 states including the FCT will fall within the moderate probable flood risk areas.

“It is expected from the forecast that 121 LGAs in 28 states will fall within the highly probable risk areas.

“The states surrounding Rivers Niger and Benue are, without doubt, going to experience severe flooding.

“Floods come with attendant health risks through the contamination of potable water sources.

“The 2021 flooding will be exacerbated by the continuing ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The minister urged Nigerians to do all within their power to give succor to the populace grappling with the twin problems.

He said stakeholders, including policy makers and tiers of government should rise to the challenge of the impending flooding and take appropriate measures such as clearing of waterways and flood paths to contain it.

Adamu noted that the ministry was controlling water flow in streams through construction of dams, reservoirs, artificial lakes and rivers, with a view to making it less destructive.

The Director General of the NIHSA, Mr Clement Nze, stressed the need for state and local governments to restore rivers to their natural courses and reduce indiscriminate encroachmenton waterways.

He expressed worry over the refusal by some states to adhere to early warnings about floods, and said it had resulted in the devastating effects being recorded annually in parts of the country.

Nze stressed that enforcement of town planning codes in the country would go a long way to managing construction of houses and drainage appropriately.

“We are calling on states to relocate people that live in waterways and flood plains.

“They should desilt their rivers, drainage and water channels. Removal of refuse, weeds and water hyacinth is very important,” he said.

The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammadu Muhammed, noted that the agency had enjoyed robust partnership with NIHSA as a critical stakeholder in disaster management.

According to him, NIHSA’s AFO has been a veritable took for NEMA in flood preparedness, mitigation and response since 2013.

Muhammed said the agency had also established three automatic weather observation stations in Nasarawa, Gombe State and Ekiti to enhance flood forecast and management in Nigeria.

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Environment

Abuja Now Federal Cattle Territory – Ortom

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Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom on Thursday said Abuja is the only Federal Capital Territory in the world where cows are allowed to move freely and graze on beautification flowers that government spent so much money to plant.

The governor who has always advocated ranching, expressed dismay that cattles are allowed to move freely and enchroach into people’s farms.

Ortom stated this through a virtual conferencing during the Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT chapter, stating that Nigeria has less than 20 million cattle which could also be easily ranched.

“Unfortunately, the cows are allowed to either roam the streets freely or encroach on people’s farms and other investments creating all sorts of social and economic sabotage.

He stressed that farmers and animal husbandry could increase production using modern technology of ranching instead of allowing cattles to destroy people’s farms.

“With arable land of just 2% and population less than 9% that of Nigeria, the Ranches and Animal Husbandry Agriculture subsector of The Netherlands exported meat worth over 21 billion EUROs, (about 9 trillion Naira), between 2016 and 2018 only.

“Raching by law and policy therefore, if properly implemented in our country, will also yield similar results and have great positive impact on our economic diversification dreams and our food security.“

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RAINSTORM WREAKS HAVOC IN OMALA LG, As Residents Call for Urgent Government Aid

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Properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed Tuesday night in parts of Omala Local Government Area as a result of heavy downpour.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

The heavy downpour led to massive flooding and destruction of houses especially in the Obeya, Oleji, Olomala and Echa areas of Abejukolo the local government headquarters.

Our correspondent who visited the area reported that the destruction of landed property was massive while the major road was blocked by a fallen mast belonging to one of telecommunication operators.

Other roads in the town were littered with blown away roofing sheets, uprooted trees and other debris occasioned by the heavy rainstorm.

Other villages in the Local Government seriously affected by the storm included Agbenema, Odumukpo, Okpotala, Bagaji, Bagana, obakume, Ibado-Akpacha.

Residents of the local government and communities mainly affected by the destructive rainstorm are appealing to the Kogi State government through the State Emergency Management Agency to come to their aid urgently.
< Sadia-Umar-Farouq
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs

Most worrisome is the situation at the Government Science Secondary School Abejukolo where the school has been rendered uninhabitable as all the classroom roofs have been blown off. Of note is the fact government had abandoned the school for a long time and the recent rainstorm only reinforced the the dilapidation of the school.

Reacting to the situation, a leader of the Omala community in Abuja, Dr James Odaudu said the development was worrisome especially in the wake of the present economic meltdown occasioned by COVID-19 Lockdown.

Odaudu appealed to both the Federal and Kogi state governments to urgently extend the distribution of palliatives to the communities in Omala Local government in order to mitigate their losses as a result of the storm.

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