Kogi State Government has once again made a clarification that what it gave out to flood affected victims in the State following last years flood that ravaged the State was assistance and not compensation.
The State Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, and Chairman Flood Management Committee, made the remarks while on a sensitization visit to Lokoja Local Government to inform the people living in the flood prone areas of the State to relocate in view of the 2013 predicted flood.
The Deputy Governor whose visit to the Local Government Area was to also locate suitable camp sites that would accommodate displaced persons in the event of another flood, disclosed that what the State did was to assist those affected and urged mischief makers not to misconstrue government responsibility to it people as compensation.
Awoniyi, maintained that majority of the houses affected by the last years flood in Lokoja Local Government Area were illegal structures that never had Government approval, said the Government could not have compensated illegality, rather out of human kindness, gave out assistance to people affected and not compensation as is being alleged in some quarters.
The Deputy Governor disclosed that the State Government is resolute in improving on last years record in the management of the flood disaster and in the welfare of internally displaced persons if the flood occurs again.
Awoniyi explained that the uniqueness of Lokoja as one of the fastest growing urban centre in the country and the haphazard development carried out by some individuals along flood prone areas of Ganaja and Gadumo,made it a herculean task in the handling of internally displaced persons.
The Deputy Governor lamented the negative role played by some IDP’s in Ganaja and Gadumo who rather than appreciate government’s assistance to them during and after the flood as the most catered camps in the state all through the flood period, were quick to rush to the press to rubbish government’s concern,warned that government would guide against such actions in the event of another flood.
Awoniyi further said the on-going construction of 272 Post Flood Housing Estate that is nearing completion and the emphasis that would be placed on Lokoja by the Government, would ensure proper documentation of IDP’s, improve welfare condition for victims as well as ensuring that there sufferings and losses are reduced to the barest minimum this year.
Earlier in his speech, Alhaji Aliyu Baba Usman, Chairman, Lokoja Local Government Area, called for an Executive bill that will declare all areas around the river banks as green areas, to prevent people putting up structures around the river banks indiscriminately and to also order the relocation of people living around flood prone areas from their present location.
The Chairman however requested the building of more internally displaced persons camps for the area and commended the proactive measures put in place by the State Government thus far.