Federal Government Not Fair To Flood Victims—Says HURIWA

Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Worried that state government administrations have done nothing concrete to assuage the anger of thousands of victims of last year’s floods across the country regarding poor distribution of relief materials, a call has been made to the federal government and the affected states to be transparent, fair and accountable in their encounter with flood victims.

In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of media Affairs Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) decried the ugly situation whereby most flood victims across the federation are offered paltry N3,000 each as total relief package from the several Billions of Naira raised by both the Aliko Dangote-led flood victims rehabilitation presidential panel and the funds disbursed from the presidency by President Goodluck Jonathan last year.

HURIWA has therefore tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] to probe the groundswell of allegations that the fund for the flood victims are being systematically stolen and/or mismanaged by state government officials.

Citing an example of Kogi State whereby the victims of floods last year lost over 500 houses worth billions of Naira in the nine local council worst affected by the natural disaster, HURIWA faulted the decision of the Kogi State government to disburse only N3,000 each to the 1,500 residents rendered homeless by the devastating floods.

Specifically, victims of the 2012 flood disaster in Kogi State reportedly rejected the government offer of N3,000 each as compensation just as some of the flood victims told the media that they were offered the said paltry sum recently by a team of government officials at the local government education authority (LGEA) Primary School at Gadumo, Lokoja in Kogi State.

Victims of flood disaster similarly in Taraba, Adamawa and Anambra States have voiced out their concern of abandonment by their respective state administrations.

HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has in the light of the emerging gross injustice, unfairness, inequity and shabby treatment of these flood victims, suggested that community -based, faith-based organizations and credible civil society organizations in the affected states be constituted into Independent monitoring groups to ensure the transparent disbursement of these huge public fund to the right victims of last year’s floods.

HURIWA also wants governments at all levels to bring to book all indicted officials who have siphoned these public fund released for the purposes of providing funding support and lifelines to the actual victims of the 2012 flood disaster across the country.

The Rights group which advocated proactive measures to avoid the repeat of last year’s flood disaster, also called on Nigerians to embrace environmental sanitation as a daily obligation.

HURIWA said; “We are unhappy that state governments which got hundreds of millions of fund to ameliorate the predicaments of the flood victims are now allowing rogue officials to feed fat on these resources meant for the poor. This inhuman and unfair treatment of the victims of last year’s flood disaster must stop”.