Gender and Women Advocacy groups in Bayelsa State have slammed the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq over comments that Bayelsa State is not one of the ten most impacted states by the 2022 flood, reffering to such comments as unpleasant.
The Gender and Women Advocacy groups, the Do Foundation International led by Dise Goddy Harry Esq and the Starrz Safety Initiative led by Mrs Mary Accrah Bekeowei said they were surprised and shocked when she waved aside the pains and sufferings of thousands of women, children and displaced people of Bayelsa State with her light and shoddy description of the flood disaster.
While Founder of the Do Foundation International, Mrs. Dise Goddy Harry Esq noted that the minister’s position is not a true reflection of the damages and destruction brought upon the state by the Flood,”We are surprised at her comments and outbursts and may we state categorically that it is not the true position of things. Her position did not follow true as correct data capture and Assessment was not done.”
“We want to state that hundreds of thousands of women, children and men were all impacted by the flood. Lives and properties were lost, wives became widows and children became orphans and it is so sad that such a comment could have emanated from her as we are one of the state worse hit by the flood if not the first.
We are calling on her to withdraw her statement and visit Bayelsa State herself to see the extent of damage.”
Also speaking, the Founder of of Starrz Safety Initiative, Mrs Mary Accrah Bekeowei faulted whatever parameters used by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq to have adjudged Bayelsa as least impacted state, “as one of the Non Govermental organisations in Bayelsa state, we toured impacted communities and saw pains and horror in the eyes of victims in Bayelsa state.”
She pointed out that the Minister should note that the flood disaster in the state did not discriminate between the rich and poor and along political lines,” every home was affected.
Former President Jonathan, Governor Diri and many other prominent Bayelsans homes and communities were submerged under waters.”
“If she had come to Bayelsa to get first-hand information, it would helped her in her judgment. We saw people cook in canoes on top of waters. Many Children and Women suffered displacement and many others died. Families lost loved ones and means of live hood on farmlands and fish ponds were washed away. 90 per cent of Bayelsa State was under the waters for weeks and she adjudged the state the least impacted? It is unfair and wicked of her and her office.”
Mrs Mary Accrah Bekeowei however expressed concern over her capacity to continue as Minister of Disaster management and Humanitarian affairs, backing the rising calls for her resignation over alleged gross incompetence.