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As flood victims count losses, presidential committee counts gains

Mrs Oyigocho Samson, a widow and mother of five who was affected by the 2012 flood returned to her ravaged home in Agatu area of Benue state after the water receded but was unfortunate as she lost her three children to the walls of her building which fell on them.
As Mrs Samson was mourning the loss of her children, Obadiah Mase, another victim from Taraba state had withdrawn all his children from school because his farm which served as his source of livelihood was completely destroyed by the 2012 flood.
As families across the country recall their dilemma, the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to address their plight is yet to come to their aid.
The committee inaugurated in October 2012 was given a one-year mandate to provide relief, as well as rehabilitate the over 2 million Nigerians affected by the flood.
A source in the committee told Daily Trust that the committee had not really had the time to meet frequently due to the busy nature of the Co-Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote who has to attend to his business empire.
“Since the inauguration of the committee, there have been only three meetings and now things have been shared to different sub-committees so no one knows what is happening,” the source said.
Daily Trust investigation revealed that since inauguration, the committee has raised over N11 billion in both cash and promissory notes yet none of the flood victims have received a dime.
Mr Emeka Charles, Coordinator, Concerned Flood Victims, an umbrella group for the 2012 flood victims, said that the Presidential Committee also referred to as the Dangote committee was a total failure.
“They were given one year to address our plight, now it is nine months yet nothing has been done rather they spent a lot of money renting an office accommodation and employing consultants, while we are suffering,” Charles said.
“We don’t know if the job of the committee is for life, we lost everything and the federal government and other well meaning Nigerians have contributed money to assist us but the committee is sitting on the money and there is no one to ask them,” he added.
Daily Trust visited the office but could not speak to the committee secretary Hajiya Modu as she was either said not to be around or was attending to an urgent matter and cannot see anyone. Several text messages sent to her phone were also not acknowledged.

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