FLOOD: How Delta Ijaw Communities Have Become Rivers, Canals As Hard Life Knock Residents

By Binebai Jasmine 

In a special tour embarked upon by The Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide, Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill and other prominent youth leaders in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and some chairmen of flood ravaged communities on Tuesday 25th October 2022. The tour was indeed an eye opener to the helish and enormous sufferings faced by the people as Communities have become rivers while streets in the communities have become canals with residents fighting and struggling with hard life. The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report.

Addressing the press after touring Ayakoromo Community in Ngbilebiri Kingdom, Gbekebo in Ogbolubiri Kingdom, Obotebe Community, traditional headquarters of Obotebe Kingdom and some other smaller communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill who was highly amazed at the level of sufferings in these communities have called on the Federal, state Governments and their parastatals to urgently move to the creeks and salvage the people by doing the needful. 

Binebai noted that while the people have been completely sacked by the flood that now occupy their houses, the people now lives on canoes and some sort of makeshift things they now sleep. 

One of the shocking revelation during the tour was a case in Ayakoromo Community where a woman was seen setting net in the community to catch fish, this in essence tells you that the town is now a river. 

Binebai noted that from what is on ground, Delta State, particularly communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State is heavily affected and the volume is even higher than the flood in Bayelsa State. 

This is the story of a people living helplessly in their communities without proper attention on the part of Government as seen in Ayakoromo, Gbekebo, Obotebe and other surrounding villages as the cry for help during the visit was so touching. 

While they suffered to build their houses, the flood on the other hand have destroyed some of these houses, hunger, destruction of properties and health challenges is now the order of the day. 

The situation made one to ask if these riverine communities are part of the entity called Nigeria and Delta State? If so, why have there not been any visit by Federal agencies and the state Governor as seen like other Governors like the Bayelsa State Governor is doing by going round, sympathizing with the people. 

However, Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill had called on the Federal government and the various state Governors including parastatals to begin to be more serious with the issue of the perennial flooding in Nigeria, adding that the people are vulnerable and living their lives as if there is no Government that is ruling over them. 

The young publisher while speaking on series of issues affecting the people had advocated for the establishment of a coastal area development agency, stressing that the establishment of an agency of such will make sense as it will be charged with the responsibility of mapping out plans to protect riverine communities in times like this.

Binebai had also called for the swift intervention of Government as well as a call for help from Non Governmental Organisations and good spirited individuals to assist these affected communities. 

Speaking further, Princewill have appreciated leaders and agency that have done the little they can do for the people during this period. 

We don’t know if the 2022 flood is celebrating its 10th year anniversary – Ayakoromo Chairman 

On his part, Chairman of Ayakoromo Community in Ngbilebiri Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Comr. Richard Ebibofa stated that while the flood has completely taken full possession of his community, he wondered if the 2022 flood is celebrating its 10th year anniversary from the 2012 flood. 

The Ayakoromo Community Chairman, Mr. Richard Ebibofa noted that the 2022 flood is far bigger, aggressive, higher and destructive than the 2012 flood. 

He noted that academic activities have been crushed, farmlands have been breached, many houses have collapsed, businesses have also crashed, health challenges everywhere and severe hunger is now what his people grapple with on a daily basis, not to talk of snakes, reptiles and other dangerous creatures that now terrorise the people frequently. 

Comr. Richard had called on the Federal government of Nigeria to urgently begin proper dredging of the River Niger, sandfilling of these flooded communities, adding that the Government of Nigeria must have plans ahead of the flood and not to seat without doing much about it every year. 

On casualty, the Ayakoromo community chairman noted that they have recorded one but not a death casualty, adding that the man nearly lost his manhood in the process and that he is in Warri for medical attention. 

Speaking further, Ebibofa had appreciated Rt. Hon. Julius Pondi, member representing Burutu Federal Constituency, House of Representatives, Hon. Asupa Peter Forteta, member representing Burutu North, Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Emman Amgbaduba, Commissioner, ministry of oil and gas, Delta State, Hon. Godknows Angele, Chairman of Burutu Local Government Area and the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) for reaching out to them with relief materials so far. 

According to him, the most wonderful and striking one is the kind gesture done by Senior Prophet Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin, founder and general overseer of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry who brought big local boat to evacuate flood victims from Ayakoromo to Mercy City in Warri and even opened an IDP camp for them, noting that the man of God even dropped money for others in the community that could not go to the IDP camp.

Life Is Really Unbearable For Us  – Gbekebo Chairman 

Speaking with The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide press crew, Comr. Basil, Chairman of Gbekebo community in Ogbolubiri Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State have stated that life has become unbearable for his people. 

He continued that the flood has finished Gbekebo as nothing is working, adding that the community is vulnerable. 

According to him, both the Federal and Delta State Government is yet to do anything about the flood situation in Gbekebo and other riverine communities, stressing that they are really suffering. 

Mr. Basil who also heaped praises on Prophet Omoto for coming to their aid had also suggested to the Federal Government of Nigeria that building of a workable dam, massive construction of foreshore walls and sandfilling of the communities will help a big deal in mitigating the effect of the flood on the people subsequently. 

We Have Been Abandoned By FG, Delta State Government – Obotebe Chairman 

For Mr. Godwin Ebobra, popularly known as alias Oboribebe who is the Chairman of Obotebe Community, traditional headquarters of Obotebe Kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, the Federal and Delta State Government have collectively abandoned them. 

The heavily heated flood Community Chairman asserted that this is the best time for Government to show their people love and kindness, adding that despites their sufferings, the Government have not shown any form of concern or care to them, describing the act as unpatriotic. 

Chairman Ebobra stated that all activities in the community have been crumbled as the flood has breached almost all the buildings in the community as residents now float on canoes.

NDDC, PAP Office, Niger Delta Ministry, Others Must Act Now  – Ebolo 

Chairman of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Ngbilebiri Kingdom and Chairman of all IYC Chairmen in Western Zone, Comr. Ebolo Samuel has on his part tackled the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Niger Delta Ministry, NEMA and others to swing into action now. 

Comr. Ebolo stated that the level of suffering he witnessed during the tour was an eye opener that the people are really suffering. 

According to him, this is not time for much talk but action, stressing that intervention agencies set up for the Niger Delta region must quickly do something about the flood situation. 

Speaking further, Ebolo said when compared to what other Governors are doing in their various states, it shows that the Governor of Delta State has not done anything to sympathise and to provid succour for his people. 

Failure Of Government, Responsible For Our Massive Sufferings – Andaowei 

Chairman of Obotebe Kingdom Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Comr. Okou Andaowei Anthony have stated that the failure of both Federal and state governments ahead of the flood is responsible for the massive sufferings of the people. 

According to him, what he was seeing on social media and reading was nothing compared to what he has seen for himself physically via the tour, stressing that the situations in these flooded communities is terrible, terrifying and terrific. 

Andaowei stated that the Government must not just give out relief materials to victims alone but must have plans to mitigate the effect of flood on the people in the future. 

May God Bless Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill, The CEO Of The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide – Gbozimo 

President of the Ijaw Defenders Mandate (IDM), Comr. John Gbozimo has commended the publisher/Editor-In-Chief of The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide, Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill for the tour aimed at Liberating the people, praying that may the Lord Almighty continue to bless the young publisher. 

Comr. Gbozimo asserted that Niger Delta leaders should take the flood issue more serious, stating that what he has seen in the flooded communities with his eyes show that what he has been  seeing prior to now on social media is far different from reality.

Meanwhile, in his concluding speech, Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill, Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of The Liberator Newspapers have stated that the report will be incomplete without appreciating those that supported the movement financially. 

According to him, special thanks goes to Amb. John Dekawei, founder and chairman of the John Dekawei Foundation (JDF), Amb. Dr. Comr. Shedrack Agediga, Executive Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC ) who is also the Founder and chairman of the Shedrack Agediga Foundation (SAF) and Amb. Dr. Apst. Godspower Tomone for their financial support during the tour.

Photo Credit The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide

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