President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged federal government’s support and assistance to Kebbi flood victims.
Buhari on Saturday had dispatched a high powered delegation to the state,led by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono to commiserate with flood victims across the state .
Nanono, accompanied by Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and top Government officials from federal and state government who stated this during a courtesy call on the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Muhammdu Mera in his palace said that, the president was deeply concerned with the massive flood disasters in the state, as well as other parts of Nigeria .
Nanono also said that, he was in the state on the directives of the president , to commiserate with the govenrment and people of the state, especially the victims .
According to him, President Buhari has also mandated him to holistically assess the extent of damage caused by the flood disasters
He added: ” This is with the view to ascertaining the extent of damages to farmlands ,livestock, houses and other infrastructure.
” We will also go back to Abuja, compile our report and submit same the report .
” In Sha Allahu, the Federal Government will come to the aid of the victims, including those who have lost their livestock .”
Nanono appealed to the farmers not to be dissuaded and discouraged, just as he called on them to accept the disasters as inevitable acts of the Almighty Allah.
” Efforts are also on to provide early maturing seeds of rice , maize and other food crops, to reduce the impact of the disasters on food security and the colossal losses to the farmers ,” the Minister, added.
Nanono extolled the sterling contributions of Gov Atiku Bagudu towards bolstering food security in the country .
He noted that, Kebbi State was now the hub of rice production, a situation that has positive effects across Nigeria.
Responding, the Emir of Argungu, Alhaii Samaila Mera, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for showing concerns to the plight of the flood victims in the state.
The Emir also commended Gov Atiku Bagudu for showing deep concerns to the victims, as well as unrelenting commitment to offer immediate assistance to them .
He also lauded the Governor for his efforts to ensure that, the flood disasters do not result in the skyrocketting of the prices of food items , occasioned by the submerging of farmlands in the state .
Mera however said,” As Muslims , we have faithfully accepted the disasters as inevitable acts of the Almighty Allah.”
The Minister of Agriculture in the company of the governor and the entourage at Matan Fada river to assess damage to rice farmlands submerged by water gave an assurance to farmers in Kebbi State of compensatory assistance from the federal government.
Alhaji Nanono expressed shock with extent of the destruction by the floods to farmlands said the situation require prompt intervention to those affected.
The Minister assured the farmers that he would brief president Buhari on his return to Abuja while the Federal Ministry of Agriculture would also deliberate on the matter for quick intervention.
The minister commended governor Bagudu for his effective leadership in managing and mitigating the hardship of the disaster on people.
On his part, governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu explained that being on a downward slope, Kebbi State received the brunt of release of water from Goronyo and Bakalori dams upstream as well as release of water from river Niger by authorities of Republic of Niger .
He informed the minister that farmers in the state lost farmlands, crops, animals and fishing ponds but commended them for their resilience and perverence.
Bagudu expressed appreciation to Minister of Agriculture, the CBN and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) for coming to Kebbi to sympathise and begin process of mobilisation to reenergize farmers inorder to reignite cultivation towards recovering losses incurred.
The governor affirmed the commitment of his administration to offering them necessary moral and material support to replant but solicited for further assistance from the federal government.
Earlier, the Chairman of Wheat farmers association in the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Argungu regretted that almost the entire fadama rice fields in Kebbi State have been submerged by the floods.
He said 90 percent of the farmlands have been submerged by the floods.
‘Farmers made the largest replanting of rice ever recorded in the state before flood water washed everything” , he lamented.
Argungu requested the federal government and authorities concerned to immediately provide the farmers with improved seeds of maize , cassava, potatoes and other varieties for planting instantaneously.
The Minister and his entourage after inspecting farmlands and areas devastated by floods in Argungu and Makera in Birnin Kebbi , rounded up the visit with a courtesy call on the emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammdu Iliyasu Bashar .
The Emir of Gwandu and Chairman Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammdu Iliyasu Bashar thanked the minister for the visit and the concern of the president over the sad situation in Kebbi.
Bashar extolled the effort of the governor in dealing with the flood situation.
He called on the victims not to loose hope and have faith in Allah.
The minister was accompanied on the visit by top management officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in company of his deputy, Alhaji Samaila Yombe Dabai, the Chief of Staff Government House, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad Argungu ( Jarman Kabi) , the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Babale Umar Yauri, Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and other top Government functionaries welcomed the minister on arrival in Birnin Kebbi and accompanied him on the inspection visit.
Special Adviser (SA) Madia to Kebbi