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NEMA calls for proactive communities’ involvement in flood mitigation in South-East

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for proactive communities’ involvement in mitigating flood disaster in the South-East as communities remained critical stakeholders in checking flood disasters and losses.

The Zonal Coordinator of NEMA South-East, Mrs Ngozi Echeazu, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday on proactive steps taken by the agency before now.

NAN recalls that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) have released the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO).

The agencies had given breakdown of high flood risk and moderate flood risk local government areas in the country as well as handed down warning of a possible high-level of flooding in the country.

Echeazu said that one of the major trusts of the Agency’s proactive measures was to work with communities in council areas to ensure that they keyed into the proactive measures already outlined in NEMA’s sensitisations.

According to her, there is a need for community members to work with the Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and state government taskforce on flood mitigation, to put proactive response work-plan.

She said, “It is imperative at this age and stage of our proactive approach to flood and other disaster management to strengthen community-based actions against flooding and other disasters.

“NEMA, through a series of meetings and sensitisation, which serves as proactive measures, has continued to build community education, capacity and resilience on flood mitigation efforts this year.

“These efforts included timely (proactive) opening of blocked waterways, removing structures/buildings on flood plains, expanding narrow waterways and organising periodic meetings at the community-level to discuss emergency plans and share responsibility among themselves.”

The coordinator said that before now, the agency had engaged in identification and update of information on communities prone to flood disaster in the zone.

She said that earlier this year, the agency had written to the state governments, informing them of the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction and Annual Flood Outlook by NiMET and NIHSA.

Echeazu said that since May, NEMA had engaged residents of the zone through mass media interviews and programmes on the importance of proactive approach and disaster risk reduction measures on flood incidents.

“These measures include building community capacity/resilience, opening blocked waterways, removing structures/buildings on flood plains, expanding narrow waterways, organising stakeholders meetings and early harvesting of crops.

“The agency has equally produced TV jingles which have been on air for some months and have produced/disseminated the climate-related disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies of 2023 via mass media,” the coordinator said.

She revealed that council areas with communities that are at high risk of flood disaster such as Ogbaru, Anambra West, Anambra East and Ayamelum among others in Anambra, had temporal camps (i.e. IDP camps) where the affected were kept until the flooding subsided.

 

“Once camps are activated due to flood, the local government authority (LEMC) state (SEMA), Federal Government (NEMA) and other relevant stakeholders step in to assist the displaced persons with provision of relief and non-relief materials, free medication, security, clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

“The emergency/exigency plan for the camps also involves evacuation plans for persons/communities adversely affected as well as coordination and management of activities in the camps.

“NEMA carries out this emergency plan with other relevant stakeholders which is aimed at timely/seamless intervention in the event of an emergency/disaster occurrence.

“Resources, logistics, teamwork and expertise are usually pulled together from the relevant stakeholders to ensure effective and efficient management of flood incidents and reduce its impact on the people,” she said.

Echeazu added that as part of NEMA’s preparedness, the agency had commenced stockpiling of relief materials (food and non-food materials) in NEMA warehouses to ensure timely intervention whenever and wherever the need arose.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Sermons, Tinubu Appeals To Religious Leaders

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Bola Tinubu

 

President Bola Tinubu has called on religious leaders to refrain from vilifying or denigrating the nation in their sermons.

Speaking during Ramadan Iftar with traditional rulers and religious leaders at the State House on Thursday in Abuja, the President emphasized the important role of religious leaders in shaping public opinion and fostering a sense of unity among citizens.

He urged the leaders to be more constructive in their criticism of those in elective positions.

President Tinubu also declared that his administration is determined to turn Nigeria’s challenges into prosperity.

He reiterated that no terrorist can defeat the collective will of Nigerians, no matter how hard they try to prey on innocent citizens.

He urged traditional and religious leaders to forge a strong bond with the government to defeat terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality in the country.

”Yesterday in Abuja, I attended the burial of the 17 soldiers killed in action at Okuama, Delta State. I saw their pregnant wives and little kids.

”The love of the nation is in your hands. Pray for our country. Educate our children. The sermons we preach to the members of our churches and mosques are important.

”Do not condemn your own nation. As a Yoruba man and as our fathers will say, ‘No matter how slippery the bottom of your child is, you must leave the beads there.’

“Leave the beads there. This is your country; do not condemn it in sermons, do not abuse the nation. Leadership is meant for change.

”Yes, this leader is bad, fine. Wait until the next election to change him, but do not condemn your country. Do not curse Nigeria. This is a beautiful land.

The President, who acknowledged the birthday wishes and goodwill extended to him on the occasion, reminded the leaders that his birthday on March 29, 2024, coincided with Good Friday.

“I have earned the honour of having my birthday fall on Good Friday, and I pray that on this Maundy Thursday, you all shall return to your homes safely. May God guide and keep you and your families in good health, and lift your spirits,” the President prayed.

Different speakers at the dinner expressed gratitude for the opportunity to come together in the spirit of Ramadan to share a meal with the President and renew the bonds of friendship that unite the nation.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima emphasized the pivotal roles of religious and traditional rulers in promoting peace and unity, urging them to continue to ‘‘build bridges that transcend ethnic and religious divides.’’

 

The Vice-President expressed delight that the nation’s economy is on a rebound, noting the strengthening of the naira against the dollar.

”The President means well for the nation, and he has continued to redefine the meaning and concept of modern leadership.

”For many years, fuel subsidy was an albatross. The President took a bold decision from day one, and he hit the ground running. Now the economy is turning the corner,” the Vice-President said.

Speaking on behalf of the Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, assured the President of the unwavering support of traditional rulers and commended the government’s efforts to address the hike in food prices and the security challenges.

”You are not alone, Mr. President. The prices of food items and goods are gradually coming down. You are doing your best on security, and we cannot allow you to do it alone. We will join hands to support your vision for the betterment of our nation,” the Ooni said.

Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, Emir of Zazzau, speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), highlighted the significance of Ramadan as a period of reflection, empathy, and unity.

On the security situation in the country, the Emir of Zazzau, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of NSCIA, expressed optimism that the country will return to peace and stability.

”I am happy to see representatives of Muslim and Christian communities in this room. I pray God Almighty blesses the President for him to do more to take the country to the Promised Land,” the Emir prayed.

Apostle Samson Fatokun, General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), noted that the Ramadan dinner with religious and traditional leaders, coincided with Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

The General Secretary, who delivered the address of CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, commended President Tinubu for fostering a harmonious relationship between the State and the Church.

”We are encouraged that your administration has shown great determination in tackling the challenges of kidnapping and banditry and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

”We shall continue to show our support to your administration so that you can execute your noble intention for the nation,” CAN General Secretary said.

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