Flooding: Dickson Solicits NAF Support On Evacuation of Victims
Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson on Thursday sought the collaboration of the Nigerian Air Force to undertake emergency evacuation operations of flood victims, as most communities have already been submerged by flood in the state.
Governor Dickson, who made the appeal when the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar and his entourage paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa, said Bayelsa is the worst hit state in the country, in view of the fact that, the entire State is below sea level.
The Governor said in the next one month, more communities would be affected, stressing that, adequate preparations needed to be made by the state government, in partnership with the military and other relevant agencies, towards providing support and assuage the plight of those displaced by the flood disaster.
His words: “Let me commend the Air Force for the way and manner your officers and men supported this state during the 2012 flood and let me also use this opportunity to call for more support, especially now. As we speak, so many of our communities are under water. As you know, the whole of Bayelsa is below sea level. So, once there is a major flooding situation in our country, our state is one of the most impacted, because all the major rivers pass through here to the Atlantic.
“I want to see a situation where your officers and men collaborate more with our people, especially in the area of evacuation because the situation we have at hand is alarming. The reports we are getting are not palatable. We are told that the situation will continue for the next one month, by which time, I can count on my fingers how many communities in Bayelsa will not be evacuated. ”
Governor Dickson, who reiterated his administration’s commitment towards supporting the security agencies to sustain the prevailing peace and stability in the Niger Delta region, also called for synergy with the Nigerian Air Force, in terms of providing effective security, in and around the Bayelsa international airport.
Describing the airport as the most critical and expensive singular infrastructure embarked upon by his administration, he assured the Chief of Air Staff of the state government’s readiness to provide land and logistic support to enable the Air Force establish its presence at the facility.
“We are also happy to partner with you on the airport project. We have already established contacts with your very competent team on ground. We want to work with you not only in securing the airport which is your primary responsibility but also on how’s we can support you by way of land and even some support to enable your officers and men move down there to be in effective control because that is the most critical and expensive singular infrastructure project embarked upon by my administration that will serve the state, this region and our country for a long time to come.
On the area of education, Governor Dickson urged the Nigerian Air Force to partner the state in the provision of quality education and healthcare delivery, noting that, the state government would hand over one of its model secondary schools to the Air Force as it did to the Nigerian Army.
Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar said, he was in the state on an operational visit to the Mobility Command, as part of efforts aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Air Force for optimal performance.
While reeling out his achievements in the country, especially in the area of insurgency in the northeast and militancy, Air Marshall Abubakar assured the governor of his preparedness to strengthen the security architecture in Bayelsa and the Niger Delta region, considering the strategic assets within the area.