Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the country with all seriousness it deserves.
Diri made the call at the Government House, Yenagoa, while receiving the Technical Working Group, South-South, which is a subcommittee under the Federal Government’s Committee on Prevention of Flooding in Nigeria.
He was speaking through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
The Governor said the issue of food insecurity had been worsened by the devastating flood of 2022 in Bayelsa and other affected states and he is therefore urging the Federal Government to distribute the tonnes of rice and other food items impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service, as part of its short-term post-flood management measures in states badly affected by the flood.
While saying that Bayelsa’s location is at the lowest base of the river basin, he noted that this makes it most flood-prone.
His words, “First of all, I want to commend you for putting these issues in the right perspective. The two rivers (Niger and Benue) all empty their waters through the river basin, which is Bayelsa, into the ocean.“We are supposed to do residual farming, but because of the flood, we have not been able to do that. We are going to have food insecurity in the country. And we all know that food insecurity is more dangerous than conventional insecurity.
“There are lots grains that have been seized by the Customs Service, which have been declared nobody’s property. What stops the Federal Government from distributing those grains to the states badly affected by the flood?” he queried.
Bayelsa is one of the most impacted states in the last flood, the waters rose by about 4.6 metres high.