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No Military Officer Has Visited Us Since NAF Bomb Our People – Buwari, Yobe Youth Leader


No military officer has visited us since NAF bomb killed eight of our people – Buwari, Yobe youth leader

Alhaji Ali Buwari is a 30-year old father of four and youth leader in Buwari community, Yobe State. His grandfather, grandmother and uncle were injured when the Nigerian Air Force jet mistakenly bombed the community on Wednesday, last week.

Has the community been attacked by Boko Haram before?

Well, there have been Boko Haram terrorists hibernating around the eastern and western axis of the village where their camps are. From there, they drive into the village on their motorcycles. They have been coming to the village to steal and commit other atrocities but for quite some time now the villagers have chased them out of the village to the dessert. It has been long since they were chased out of the village but you know, they will always find their way into the area once in a while especially when there is no presence of security personnel. That we cannot rule out but they are mostly camped in the dessert. And, in this rainy season, I can say categorically that there is no Boko Haram coming into the village because the river has blocked them from having access with their motorcycles and you know there has been an outbreak of cholera in the village. That has also barred them from entering because they too are afraid of the disease.

How did attack by the Air Force happen? Can you give a vivid account?

The day that unfortunate incident happened was on a Wednesday. The villagers were already prepared to go for the weekly market at Geidam. As early as 7:30am some had set out for the market when, from nowhere, we heard the sound of an aircraft coming from the western axis and then, heavy sounds of bullets shelling everywhere. Then the jet passed through the eastern axis. Instantly, three people died. Before we knew what was happening, we heard loud cries of people as they were running helter skelter trying to hide thinking it was an attack from the insurgents. In the process of running to safety, some got hit by bullets, some by metallic substances while others got hit while trying to tend to the those that died from the bullet. We saw houses on fire but we were not after the houses or material things, we were more interested in saving lives of those affected.

We immediately arranged for vehicles and began to transport the injured victims to Geidam general hospital. We transported 28 people. Among them were women and children while eight persons lost their lives.

When it started, what did you think it was?

Initially when the shooting started we thought it was Boko Haram terrorists that had attacked us. When we discovered it was a military jet, we thought maybe Boko Haram had invaded the village but we then realised that there was no Boko Haram infiltration as such we wondered what happened. We then called our local government chairman and the member representing Yunusari at the state assembly and informed them of the development. They, in turn asked us to evacuate those that sustained injuries to the hospital where the chairman came and met us.

Can you name the victims and the families affected?

In Buwari we are all brothers and sisters because we are all related and it is a relatively small settlement. Everybody knows everyone and everyone is related to all.

I cannot give actual names of those affected by the incident because we are still trying to get the best medical attention for the injured victims while the eight dead bodies have already been buried; so it will be difficult to say so so person is affected but my grandfather, my uncle and my grandmother sustained injuries from the aerial attack by the fighter jet.

Among those killed were women and aged men.

Those who sustained injuries that were taken to the hospital in Geidam are 28, among whom are over10 women and children. Most of the affected persons are aged men, Women and children. The youth are not many.

One particular eight-year-old child was hit by a metal on his forehead and blood was rushing profusely from the wound. When he was brought to the hospital, the doctor recommended the child be rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where he could receive proper medical attention. As we speak, he is in Maiduguri now but I cannot say anything about his condition.

One of the men that sustained injury and taken to Geidam hospital was, on Saturday referred to Damaturu for further medical attention.

A woman had a broken bone. The bone was badly broken that she too was referred to a hospital in Damaturu.

What is the extent of damage?

I cannot quantify the extent of the damage at this moment because we have yet to take inventory of the property destroyed by the aerial attack. We are not concerned about the property or houses destroyed because we believe it is the will of God and it was ordained by God to happen the way it happened. We are also busy with the injured victims here in the hospital. But houses were burnt down. Properties worth millions of naira were lost in the fire inferno that arose as result of the persistent firepower from the fighter jet.

The eight people that were killed were buried in the evening of that same day in a mass grave.

It will interest you to know that, when we heard that there was a metallic substance that had penetrated the ground in the village, we reported to the military but up till this moment, they have not stepped their feet into the village. Since that attack, no single soldier or policeman has gone to see the level of damage Air Force has done in our village.

What do you want from government?

To start with, Buwari village is the second biggest ward in the Yunusari LGA. We deliver some of the largest number of votes to the ruling APC. Since the return of democracy, we have always voted for the party and candidates the government wants us to vote for. In each of the previous elections, we have always delivered not fewer than 3,000 votes to the government. But that is where it ends. We do not have a single government presence in our village. Even the only local market we built from our hard earned money has been closed. There is no good access road to our village, nothing. Our aged parents living in the village live in perpetual fear of possible attack from the Boko Haram terrorists because there are no security forces around the village.

To paint the whole picture in the right perspective, in all the elections that have been conducted in this country, the ad hoc staff and all security personnel have never got to the village, what we usually do is to hire buses and transport all the electorate from the village and take them to Geidam to cast their votes, after that, we transport them back when they finish voting in the evening.

In the past few weeks, Cholera has killed over 10 people in Buwari village and over 100 are currently receiving treatment at Geidam general hospital. Cholera has badly affected us to the extent that the hospital doesn’t have the facility to contain all patients therefore they only treat the patients and send them back home to return at appointed times for check-up.

This disease is as a result of bad water we consume from the river surrounding the village. We do not have a single source of potable water supply.

Lastly, I want to tell the Governor, Mai Mala that his effort is being sabotaged by those parading themselves as his loyalists from that area because they have continued to take advantage of the insecurity situation in the area to enrich themselves. I have useful information I want to tell him but this powerful aides have continued to frustrate and block me from having access to him. But if he gets to read this interview, tell him that the security situation in Buwari is getting worse and his efforts are being undermined by his subordinates.


We Are Providing Immediate Solution To Isheri Flooding – Ministers

L-R: Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof Joseph Utsev; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Minister of State, Environment, Dr Ishaq Salako and the Olofin of Isheri, Oba Sulaiman Bamgbade, during the visit of the two ministers to the flooded area in Isheri, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State on Wednesday.

The Federal Government on Wednesday assured residents of flood-prone areas, particularly the Isheri North community in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State of quick and permanent solution to the perennial menace of flooding in the corridor.

This assurance was given by the Minister of State, Environment; Dr Isiaq Salako who was in the company of the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev.

The Ministers were led to the areas by Governor Dapo Abiodun, and the Onisheri of Isheri, Oba Sulaiman Bamgbade, during an on the spot assessment of the community which has been ravaged by floods in the past days, occasioned by the release of water from Oyan Dam.

Dr Salako, noted that the flood problem facing the community is multifaceted and must be tackled from many angles, adding that the role and habits of the people, as regards the protection of the environment must be critically çonsidered.

The Minister promised that with the support of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Dapo Abiodun, a permanent solution would be found to the problem.

According to him, the President fully understands what the problems are and the Governor has also been very proactive in addressing them.

The minister, while adding that a comprehensive study must be embarked upon to find a lasting solution to the problem, said that there was a need for the expansion of drainages and lifting of roads in the area.

“For us to be able to permanently solve this problem, we must undertake a comprehensive study so that we understand fully what needs to be done in a way that will permanently bring forward a solution.

“Therefore from the perspective of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the first thing we are going to do is to immediately commission a comprehensive study of this place so that we fully understand what we need to do, what we need to do with Ogun River and I am sure my brother, the Minister for Water Resources will also support us with what we need to do with the dams.

“We also need to know how to ensure we expand our drainages and lift our roads and then also our people to change their habits and be more environmentally responsible,” he said.

Salako also disclosed that the effect of climate change cannot be reversed but can be slowed down if adapted to, charging the people and the state to ensure their water channels are properly cleared and their waste disposed properly.

In his remarks, Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof Joseph Utsev disclosed that the Federal Government has set up a committee that is working extensively on flood challenges across the country.

He assured the people that the Federal Government is leaving no stone unturned to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He said: “The Federal Government has set up a committee that is working entirely on the flood challenges of Nigeria.

“We are providing solutions to flooding in the country, not only in Ogun State. We have gone to other states and we have visited Ogun State now and we have seen what has happened. We believe that by the grace of God, the solution has come.

“I want to assure the people of Ogun State and the Lagos people residing within the terrain that we are leaving no stone unturned to try to see how we can proffer solutions to this problem.”

Responding, Governor Abiodun, while commending President Bola Tinubu for his response to the plight of the flood victims, also disclosed that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs would visit the state in the next few days.

The governor also thanked the Redeemed Christian Church of God and NASFAT for making available their premises to serve as centres for some of the displaced residents.

Abiodun also affirmed that some buildings built on channels would give way, adding that the drainage problems would also be sorted.

“In the cause of our moving around, we saw some buildings that were built on a channel. Channel that is meant to channelize the Ogun River into the lagoon, such buildings will not stand.

“For us to have a permanent solution, we must appreciate the fact that there will be some pain. I know the minister may not want to tell you, but as your Governor, I can tell you that we are going to immediately embark on how to increase the level of the arterial roads.

“We will also sort the drainages. Water in the drainages is stagnant; they are not flowing anywhere. So, some buildings may have to give way so that the drainages can become outfalls where water falls into,” he said.

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Abiodun declares state of emergency on flooded Isheri community

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun with state officials on a tour of the flooded Isheri community

…assures residents of permanent solution after comprehensive assessment

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Monday declared state of emergency on the flooded Isheri community, in Ifo Local Government Area of the State, as he assured residents of the area quick intervention to save the situation.

The governor added that a comprehensive assessment that would lead to permanent solution to the menace of flooding in the affected area would be conducted very soon.

Prince Abiodun, who stated this while fielding questions from newsmen after inspecting the flooded community, said that his administration is working with the federal government to deal with the situation as an emergency case.

He noted that the time has come to find a lasting solution to the perennial flooding to make the area morw conducive for living.

According to him, the state government will see to the elevation of some roads in the area as parts of the solutions to the problem.

The govenor said: “We will prioritize the works here because I am touched with what I have seen. I will ensure that we immediately begin to see signs of relief as we are stepping this up. The Minister of State for Environment is already aware. The Vice President is already aware and also the president. It will be dealt with as an emergency and we are taking it as such.

“As an emergency, I will like to take it up myself. Please continue to bear with us as we are going to conduct a comprehensive assessment of what we need to do to make this place conducive for living.

“Whatever that assessment comes up with is what we are going to implement. So, we are going to first start with ensuring that we have the required road infrastructure at the appropriate levels.

“So if you now built in such a way that we need to relocate you, we have to do that. Whatever it is that we must do to ensure that place does not persistently experience flood, we will do it. But let us wait for the result of the studies to come back and then we will begin to take that decision as and when the situation arises.”

Addressing residents of Riverview Estate, Governor Abiodun said he has requested for an area survey of the entire estate to identify critical areas that needed immediately intervention.

He assured that the intervention would come through the construction of an elevated road with adequate drainages to mitigate their suffering.

“I want to assure you today, knowing fully well that we are a promise keeping administration, we do not say what we do not mean, my heart goes out to you, it is very unfortunate, I am giving my commitment today, the commissioner for works will come and see what needs to be done.

“We have also engage the Minister of State for the Environment, who fortunately, is from Ogun State and I have already brought this to his attention.

“Before the end of the week, I will also table it before the Vice President and the President as well so that we ensure that this problem gets all the desired attention and consequently gets the desired solution so we can bring this to an end,” he said.

The governor also disclosed that he and the Minister of Water Resources would visit the community in few days time.

“We will also discuss the issue of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority and try and interrogate the activities there and understand how their activities affect this community and other communities with respect to the opening and closing of the dam,” he said.

The governor described the environment around the Kara cattle market as an eyesore and not befitting the dreams of a “new Ogun State”.

He said that the market was not conducive for human living and not in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goals and waste disposal.

He, however, acknowledged the area as one of the biggest commercial operation that provide services to a large number of people, even as he assured that government would go into a satisfactory agreement with the market men and women after which a comprehensive beautification of the area would take place.

The Chairman, Riverview Estate, Abayomi Akande, in his remarks, intimated the governor of the suffering residents of the area are going through as a result of the flooding.

He said that there is a need for a panel of inquiry into the operations of Oyan Dam to stop incessant release of water to cause havoc in the State

He applauded the governor for sending miscreants packing from the road, saying residents of the axis have suffered robbery attacks and other criminalities for quite awhile.

Akande urged the state government to think of converting the area into a Government Residential Area (GRA) through Public Private Partnership arrangement to fast track its development.

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NiMET Predicts States To Expect 3-day Dust Haze, Cloudiness

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted dust haze and cloudiness from Wednesday to Friday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Tuesday in Abuja predicted dust haze on Wednesday over the northern region with a visibility range of 2km to 5Km, especially in a few states like Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa during the forecast period.

The agency said that sunny spells with few patches of clouds were anticipated over the North Central during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, a hazy atmosphere with few patches of cloud is expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Benue states.

“The atmosphere over the southern parts of the country should be cloudy with intervals of sunshine, while morning thunderstorms are anticipated over Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

“Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Ondo, Edo, Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Lagos, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states,” it said.

The agency envisaged dust haze over the northern region during the forecast period on Thursday.

It anticipated sunny skies with patches of clouds over the North Central in the morning hours.

“Hazy atmosphere with few patches of clouds are expected over parts of Kwara, Plateau and Kogi states. There are prospects of thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa and Benue states in the afternoon and evening hours.

The atmosphere over the southern parts of the country should be cloudy with spells of sunshine. However, we expect morning thunderstorms over parts of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

”Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Anambra, Imo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers states,” it said.

The agency forecasted dust haze over the northern region during the forecast period on Friday.

NiMet said that sunny skies with few patches of clouds were anticipated over the North Central during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, there are prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, to be cloudy with prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Oyo, Ondo, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Lagos, Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states,” it said.

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