Yenagoa—President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Peter Igbifa has chided the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq over her recent comments that Bayelsa State is not among the 10 most flood-ravaged states in the country.
Igbifa reacting to Farouq’s statement on Friday said it was wicked of the minister to openly display what he termed an ethnic bias even on a matter like a flood disaster, stressing that the minister cannot make assumptions from the comfort of her office in Abuja.
The IYC president questioned the data by which the minister reached her conclusions and stated that if Bayelsa was a northern state, Farouq would have acted more empathetically towards the state’s flood situation.
He said, “The Minister cannot just seat in Abuja to act in assumption and talk carelessly by measuring the level of destructions caused by the flood.
“What were the scientific measuring tools? What are the parameters for judging the most affected states? These are questions begging for answers.
“Clearly if Bayelsa was a northern state she would have reported the situation to the UN for support
“The Minister lacks the capacity to man that office to address the unimaginable humanitarian crisis caused by the flood in the Niger Delta, Bayelsa in particular.
“Bayelsa, a state that is practically cut-off with over 80% of its indigenes displaced, over 1000 communities sacked completely by the flood is not considered most affected?
“This is pure wickedness and disheartening to see a federal minister so openly biased with such a public display of ethnic affiliation even during natural disasters.
“This is perhaps the reason behind the non-involvement of the current Nigerian government on wet-land conservation hence, unattended to as Bayelsa state is directly representing the Niger Delta in that regard. Shameful.”
Igbifa however, commended the Federal Government for awarding N506billion for the rehabilitation of the East-West road.
While he called on the minister to retract her statement and apologise to the people of Bayelsa State, Igbifa equally called for her immediate resignation.