Senate wants NEMA to provide relief to windstorm victims in Benue

 By Ignatius Okorocha

The Senate, Wednesday, urged the National Emergency Management Agency to, as a matter of urgency, mobilize resources to supply relief and rehabilitation materials to victims of windstorm in several communities in Benue State. 

The call on the Agency was made by the upper chamber after a motion was brought to the floor by Senator representing Benue South in the National Assembly, Abba Moro.

The lawmaker relied on Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules to present his motion titled: “Urgent Need to Buffer The Corollaries of Windstorm Disaster on Obu-Branch and Odoba Communities of Ogbadibo Local Government Area, and Olaidu, Okpare-Otah, Ajide, Ojigo Communities of Okpokwu Local Government Area in the Benue South Senatorial District.”

In his presentation, Moro noted that heavy winds and tornadoes are among the country’s most dangerous natural disasters.

According to him, on April 8, 2021, over ten thousand communities in Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Local Government Areas of Benue South Senatorial District were badly hit by a devastating windstorm which left scores injured, hundreds homeless, and resulted in the destruction of properties and means of livelihood worth millions of naira.

He expressed sadness that, “the said windstorm brought down all the blocks of classrooms of the LGEA primary school, Epeilo,the roofs of LGEA primary school Obu 1, three church buildings and all the blocks of classrooms of LGEA primary school Odogba-Ehaje, all in Ogadigbo Local Government Area, residential buildings at Ojigo, Olaidu, some church buildings, four clinics, a police station, masts, Electric poles and many residential buildings in Ajide and Okpale-Otah in Okpokwu Local Government Area.”

“Recall that on May 12, 2021, I drew the attention of the Senate in a motion, in this Hallowed Chamber, over a devastating rain/windstorm disaster that swept through Aifam community of Ogbadibo Local Government Area wherein one hundred and fifty buildings and other valuables were blown off with the storm, including the roofs of 1000 capacity St. Michael the ArchAngel Catholic Church, the Achor Market and the LGEA primary School, Aifam.

“Worried that almost one year after the Aifam disaster, the ordeal has repeated itself in a worse and more devastating manner and needs to be addressed to provide succeed to the affected communities and persons”, the lawmaker lamented.

Accordingly, the Senate urged the National Emergency Management Agency to, as a matter of urgency, mobilize resources to supply relief and rehabilitation materials to the communities to mitigate the sufferings of those affected by the windstorm.

The upper chamber also urged relevant agencies to quickly go in and support the rebuilding of all affected public buildings.

It further urged relevant government agencies to take their presence in Benue South Senatorial District to sensitize the people on measures to be taken to protect themselves and their properties from damages occasioned by this perennial calamity that annually befalls them. 

While fielding questions from journalists, Abba Moro lamented that previous efforts by the Senate to make e Executive arm of government to provide relief to displaced people in his senatorial district yielded no fruit.

He appealed to Senate committee on legislative compliance to follow up the upper chamber’s resolutions to ensure compliance by respective government Agencies.

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