By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has called on the global community to assist Nigeria in reducing the impact of the floods ravaging parts of the country.

The Ambassador at Large and Head of  Diplomatic Mission Nigeria, Dr Duru Hezekiah, in a statement signed by the Editor-in-Chief of it’s media unit, Mr Fidelis Onakpoma on Saturday in Abuja, described the flooding in Nigeria as unfortunate.

According to him, the 2022 flooding experienced in the country is intense and has been confirmed as Nigeria’s worst flood disaster in a decade, and it is increasingly becoming worse than those of 2012 and 2018.

“I am deeply distressed by the scope of devastation and suffering that has befallen on Nigerians by the rising floodwaters which have recorded human and material losses with several homes submerged in Kogi, Anambra, Bauchi, Gombe States among others.

“Apart from submerging houses and farmlands, critical infrastructures such as schools, healthcare centers, police stations, banks, offices were also affected; a situation that made the state governments shut down schools in the riverine areas.

“It is undoubtedly imperative that the Federal, State and Local Governments share the responsibility for protecting their citizens from disasters, and for helping them to recover when a disaster like this strikes.

“In these cases, however, the disaster requires a more comprehensive approach, disaster relief, and emergency assistance void of political, ethnic, or religious discrimination to effectively support state and local governments and their citizens.

“In our compassionate plea as an Intergovernmental Diplomatic Organisation, we hereby appeal to other International Agencies – the International Fund for Agricultural Development, EU, NEWMAP and others to come to our aid,” Hezekiah said.

Hezekiah said it was inhumane and deteriorating for politicians vying for political offices in the 2023 general elections to disregard the hardship imposed on citizens by the flood while focusing only on their political activities.

He lamented the situation where commuters and means of transportation of goods and services were being stuck and stranded in the traffic gridlock on different Nigerian highways resulting from the flooding.

“It is creatively challenging to hear politicians inducing how to win the forthcoming elections and not telling us how to win a ravaging pandemic that perhaps attracts a declaration of a national state of disaster.

“A coming together of a people to address a course that has respect for the fundamental human rights of Nigerians is more important now than any political campaign,” he said.

While affirming that Kogi and other affected States were not alone on this, Hezekiah commended Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, National Emergency Management Agency and State Emergency Management Agency for their efforts in cushioning the impact.

He urged states to make available to the public a toll-free telephone number in their situation rooms with the task of coordinating responses and obtaining urgent disastrous cases.

“I also urge governors in the states to be accessible and flexible in accepting proposals and partnerships aimed at providing appropriate actions and implementation of participatory emergency plans when made”. (NAN)

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