By Onuminya Innocent
The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, on Sunday paid an assessment visit to the flood ravaged areas in the state.
The governor, who was accompanied by officials of the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), led by its Chairman, Alhaji Sani Dododo, visited Augie, Argungu and Arewa Local Government Areas to assess rice farmlands, roads and bridges affected by the flood.
Bagudu, who defied the difficult terrains of the hinterlands, took time to personally interact with the victims, commiserated with them and promised to assist them.
Speaking with journalists at Bakin Gada in Argungu Local Government after inspecting the rice farm submerged by the floods, Bagudu, flanked by the National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, expressed his utmost shock over the incident, describing it as regrettable.
“Things like this happen. We are not unique in the world, it is regrettable. We have seen in the Hurricane Laura and other similar disasters in other parts of the world,” he said.
The governor expressed optimism that Nigeria, which according to him, had witnessed similar disasters before, would surmount the problem.
He assured the farmers that the federal government with institutions like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other organisations, would respond to the problem.
He said: ”We are responding to disasters and supporting each other, and I believe the CBN and other federal agencies will respond to this.”
The governor thanked the CBN and RIFAN for their concern over the flood situation in Kebbi and appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership drive to making Nigeria self sufficient in food production.
He stated that the president would soon summon a meeting of the National Food Security Council.
The National President of RIFAN, Goronyo, while commenting on the situation, said he led the North-west state chapters to Kebbi State, to physically see for themselves the devastating effect of the flood to rice farms.
According to Goronyo, they will also pay a courtesy visit to the governor, as well as declare the 2020 dry season programme in the state.
He described the devastating effect of the flood to rice farms as beyond comment, saying: “I can say that the devastating effect of the flood to farms is beyond imagination.
“I don’t think in the most recent time, this kind of flood has happened to this level. The only thing I can say is that, the Almighty God is in control.
“Everything that we have seen is from God and we must thank Him and I know He can replace whatever we lose, with what we can even imagine.”
Goronyo assured the farmers that the CBN has sent its officials from the Development Finance Department to come to Kebbi and assess the situation, for immediate action.
The CBN governor, according to him, had directed RIFAN to mobilise one million farmers that can quickly produce five million metric tonnes for the dry season commencing in November 2020 for support.