It is no longer a news that flood has taken over the Kogi State capital and some of the riverine areas in Kogi State. It is not also a news that our government has failed to show element of governance in the era of this avoidable disaster.
Each time I sit to ponder on the issue of flood in my State four salient questions hit my thought:
What is the role of the government in governance?
Is our government not empowered by laws to address issues concerning this disaster and the victims?
Are the victims of flood not supposed to be married to the State to benefit from the long arm of governance?
Who are the victims of the flood?
In answering the questions you will observe that the answer to the first question is a prelude to others, having regards to the role of the government in the economy of the State.
Strong sectors of the Kogi economy are producers, which includes the farmers, distributors which includes transporters. The flood has affected our farm land seriously that our farm product are being destroyed by the flood to occasion poor production of food for consumption. Another sector of our economy being affected by the neglect of government on flood victims are the consumers.
Will it be too much for the government to avail the victims relief materials? What is their fate when the only viable road linking them with their place of sales is overtaken by flood and what was or is the follow up remedy staged by the government to reduce the effect of the disaster?
The answer is nothing, as we have not seen anything on ground to show.
It is no gainsaying that flood is not a respecter of status, it does not know whether you’re poor, rich sick or healthy, therefore the state is advised to include budget on flood to the bill to be passed into law by the State Assembly on a yearly basis pending when the disaster is permanently remedied.
And if such bill is already incorporated in to the bill for budget, a proper monitoring measure be put in place to checkmate the implementation. Lokoja, Bassa and Ibaji which are mostly affected are the stronghold of our agricultural strength.
Something must be done to ameliorate the hardship imposed on the people by the avoidable disaster.
The government at all time must learn to feel the pulse of the governed owing to the fact that there is no government without the governed.
This is a sure way a government can be proactive to issues negatively affecting the state. In strong term we demand to hear from the government on how the government intends to do about the helpless condition of the victims.
– Arome Odoma Esq
Human Right Lawyer,
Lokoja, Kogi State.