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Flooding: Reps accuse NEMA of bias in distribution of relief materials

Abuja—A member of the House of Representatives from Edo State, Johnson Oghuma, has accused the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ahmed Mustapha, of being selective in the distribution of relief materials to states affected by floods.

Premium Times reports that Mr. Oghuma made the allegation on Wednesday when Mr Mustapha appeared before the House Committee on Ecological Funds investigating total consolidation accruals and utilisation of funds.

Johnson Aghuma

The NEMA DG, in his presentation, had claimed that in the aftermath of the devastating flood, the agency reached over 1.4 million internally displaced persons in 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

He added that NEMA used lawmakers across the country to distribute the materials.

“I told him (Director of Relief) that items should be given directly to the honourable member that put up a request,” he said.

Mr Oghuma, who was visibly angered by the comment, accused the DG of lying because several state constituencies in Edo State have no representatives. He said 14 lawmakers in the state have not been sworn in because of the crisis in the state assembly.

He added that the people in his constituency are feeling left out of the distribution of relief materials by the federal government.

“In the whole of my area, we do not have any Assembly members and you said you informed assembly members from my state and I am here.

“It is my own federal constituency that is swallowed up by the flood. I moved a motion concerning my federal constituency and that is the only way they communicate to you. I do not have any personal relationship with you. I don’t have to ask you for anything because I do not need anything from you.

“For my people, they are part of Nigeria and I want to put it to you that you people were not appointed to be partial. You swore an oath before you took office.

“The way you treat some of us from this area, is that the same way you are treating other people? I am bitter because of the way you have abandoned these people.

“My state is never recognised. You have never done anything in Edo State and you call yourself NEMA. Is NEMA not Nigeria? Is it a regional organisation?” he said.

Mr Oghuma subsequently staged a walk-out in protest after making his speech.

The Chairman of the committee, Isiaka Ibrahim (APC, Ogun), also claimed that his constituents have not been given relief materials. He said most state lawmakers have not got materials from the agency.

“I Ayokunle Isiaka, you have not distributed anything through me,” he said.

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