The Presidency has rejected the requests for the resignation of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk for his comments on the recent flooding that has devastated many states across the country.
The Niger Delta Caucus in the House of Representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fire Ms. Farouq for her comments that Jigawa State is the state most affected by the recent flood disaster.
Legislators, this newspaper had reported, accused the minister of playing politics with the flood disaster.
An elder statesman and former federal Information Commissioner, Edwin Clark, who is also the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), had implored the federal government to act to save flood victims in the region and not abandon them, according to reports from TV channels.
The state of Bayelsa is one of the most affected in the region by the devastating flood.
But in response to Mr. Clerk’s claims, Ms. Farouq, while briefing House correspondents on Thursday, said that according to her ministry’s assessment, Bayelsa was not among the ten states most affected by the recent floods.
Ms. Farouq told reporters that Jigawa state is the most affected state.
According to federal government flood data as of Oct. 24, 257,913 people were affected in Bayelsa, while 166,076 were affected in Jigawa, Channels Television said in its report.
His comments prompted federal lawmakers in the Niger Delta to call for his dismissal.
Responding to calls for the minister’s dismissal, Garba Shehu, a spokesman for President Buhari, argued that the level of damage “has clearly outstripped disaster management efforts.”
He said calls for Ms. Farouq’s resignation “are not appropriate in this climate.”
The Presidency, while sympathizing with the victims of the flooding in Bayelsa state, said that “almost every state in Nigeria has been affected” adding that federal assistance was arriving in batches.
“All of these efforts come ahead of the committee report under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum, established by the president ‘to devise solutions and then take their conclusions to the Federal Government, to alleviate the plight of the people who are currently being devastated. by floods across the country’
“This is just when the most is expected from the international response and how much of a difference the support of businesses and nonprofits can make as the country faces its worst flooding in decades.
“We hope that everyone, federal government agencies, states and local councils will increase attention to the challenges of climate change.
“The government at the center will continue to do more for Bayelsa and all the hard-hit states as more and more resources become available to the agencies dealing with…” Shehu said.