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Bayelsa flood: Jonathan now an IDP in Otuoke – Governor

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THE Bayelsa State Governor Duoye Diru has described former President Goodluck Jonathan as an internally-displaced person (IDP) in his hometown, Otuoke, following the raging flood that has overrun the state and other parts of the country.

On Friday, Diri was in Otuoke, located in the Ogbia Local Government Area of the state, to inspect the impacts of the flood ravaging the state’s eight area councils.

Among the people visited by the governor in the community was Jonathan’s aged mother, Madam Eunice Jonathan.

The ICIR reports that Jonathan’s house, currently subsumed by water, was under construction during the 2012 flood, which affected the community and sacked many residents from their homes, including the town’s late monarch, Lot Justin Ogiasa.

Jonathan’s former house was located directly opposite the Federal University in the town before he moved into his new palatial residence, which is less than a kilometer from the university.

The community has a big river which could have worsened the flood.

Addressing the community on Friday, governor Diri sympathised with the people and decried the magnitude of the crisis.

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He explained to the community that he was the first victim of the flood when it struck his town.

“I am in Ogbia, precisely at the residence of the former president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. You can see the degree of destruction here in Otuoke. The water current is as if there is a river here.

“This is what I have been saying. Bayelsa is under the attack of natural disaster. The whole premises of our former president and the community is under attack. And this is where you also have the federal university. This situation makes the former president an IDP.

“To our citizens, particularly in Ogbia local government, I came to see things for myself in Otuoke and to bring you hope. I came to also let you know that you are not alone in these trying times that we are all going through in our state.”

He said his government had put in place machinery to provide relief materials and medicines to people affected by flood in the state. 

The governor appealed to well-meaning organizations and well-to-do indigenes of the state to support the flood victims.

Because of the state’s degree of the flood, the government ordered primary and secondary schools to remain closed.

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The government declared that the state was facing a humanitarian crisis and ordered civil servants to remain at home for a week because of the disaster.

The ICIR reports that the flood has ravaged Bayelsa, Kogi, Delta, Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, Anambra, Jigawa, Rivers, and others in the country, reportedly killing over 600 and displacing millions of people.

The ICIR captured the story of displacement caused by the flooding in Jigawa. You can read the report here.

The flood has overrun farmlands, posing a threat to food security, and has put belongings and other critical infrastructures in ruins.   

Author profile

Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's the ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022. Contact him via email @ mfatunmole@icirnigeria.org.

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