By Emmanuel Kehinde, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday said his administration is pleading with the federal government to dredge and constantly desilt the River Niger banks as a way of ending the perennial flooding in its adjoining states like Kwara.
The Governor spoke in Likpata, one of the several riverine communities in Edu local government where thousands of houses and farmlands worth billions of naira have been submerged by the recent flood.
Accompanied by Senator Sadiq Umar, the Governor condoled with the people and said the government is working with various stakeholders, especially the federal government, to bring succor to them.
He said the state government is working with the lawmakers from Kwara to push for timely dredging and desilting of the River Niger and the dams as a lasting solution to the crisis.
“Two days ago I saw the president and I raised this issue (dredging the River Niger and desilting the Kainji and Jebba dams). The issue also came up for discussion at the last NEC meeting. It is an agenda we have always put on the table,” he said during the visit.
The Likpata visit came a day after the Governor toured parts of Ilorin that were affected by the Saturday rainstorm. His visit is a follow up to the visits by the government delegation led by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi which had touched down in various towns and villages across the state since Saturday.
AbdulRazaq said the government is already mobiising resources to support the victims but said distribution of food palliatives have already started since Tuesday.
He urged the people to be patient and stay strong as the administration would always look out for them.
The Governor had earlier visited the emir of Lafiagi Alhaji Sa’adu Haliru and the venue for the distribution of palliatives to thousands of people in Lafiagi and its adjoining communities.
Senator Sadiq Umar (Kwara North) corroborated the position of the Governor, saying he and his colleagues have always worked with the Governor to ensure that the people’s welfare are taken care of.
Asserting that “we have just one government”, he recalled working with the Governor to facilitate relief materials worth over N100m to Likpata and other riverine communities following recent rainstorms that destroyed several buildings and rendered thousands homeless.
He said the visit to the far-flung riverine Likpata confirmed the love that AbdulRazaq and himself have for the people.
“During the campaign we did not visit Likpata but you all voted for us because of the confidence you have in the Governor and all of us. Today we are here to also stand by you. This is our first time of coming to this place. That we visit you in your time of need shows that you truly voted for change and we value your support,” he said.
Led by Senior Adviser and Counsellor to the Governor Architect Kale Belgore, the palliatives committee meanwhile has also taken relief to Pategi and Ilorin South and West to support the vulnerable in the wake of recent incidents.
The community leaders took turns to commend the government for its support, solidarity, and the visit which they acknowledged was the first by any incumbent Governor in the state.