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NEMA warns Nigerians against flood

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The Director-General of the National Emergency Agency, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, said in Kaduna on Tuesday that ‘frontline’ states in the North should expect more flooding before the end of the year.

The frontline states, according to the NEMA boss, include Kaduna, Kebbi, Adamawa, Niger, Kogi and Jigawa as well as other states mentioned in the Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s prediction.

Meanwhile, the emergency management agency’s DG was nearly attacked on Tuesday by aggrieved victims of the Monday flood disaster when he visited the Kigo New Extension, one of the areas badly hit by the natural disaster.

Sidi was on an assessment tour of areas ravaged by the flood in the state.

The embattled residents of the area openly demanded that the NEMA boss should leave, telling him that he was not welcomed to the area.

“Please, leave here. We don’t need you. For two days now, no food; go now,” they chorused.

At this juncture, Sidi hurriedly spoke to journalists at the scene and left the area.

He noted, however, that the reaction of the victims, though not “pleasant”, was normal.

The NEMA boss said so far 63 Local Government Areas in the North had been ravaged by flood.

He added, “NIMET seasonal prediction indicated that about 10 local government areas were affected by this flood in Kaduna State, about 16 local governments in Jigawa, about 17 local governments in Kebbi, almost 20 local governments in Adamawa State and other states that were mentioned in NIMET prediction.”

He said with the release of water from the Lagdo dam in Cameroon, flooding was imminent in the northern parts of the country.

He noted that the only solution to avert future occurrence was for Nigerians to avoid building houses in flood-prone areas.

Sidi added, “You recall in 2012, we had a similar incident, even more devastating than what we are witnessing now, that was when Cameroon released water from Lagdo Dam.

“It is a routine maintenance that they carry out when their dams are about to over flow, so they release water annually.

“We keep saying that early warning must be matched with early actions, but that has never been done. So, we should expect more flood. More states, especially the frontline states, will be flooded. The lasting solution is that people must desist from building their houses in flood-prone areas.

“They should not build near natural waterways and green zones.”

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