By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN — CHAIRMAN of the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, yesterday, paid a visit to the displaced persons camp in Edo State and disclosed that over N12 billion had so far been realised by the committee.
He said that though the committee targeted N100 billion, oil companies and several multinational companies were yet to donate to the project, adding that the committee intended not only to provide food for the victims but also rehabilitate them and provide all they had lost so they could live better than before.
Alhaji Dangote declared this when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole at Government House Benin City.
Sympathizing with the governor and people of the state over the flood disaster, Dangote said: “This committee is made up of heavy weights from the various professions.
“We are trying to see if we can raise N100 billion. We had a fund raising at the Villa in Abuja and we have actually raised twelve billion.
“I want to assure you that the displaced Nigerians would not be left to suffer. We will come to their rescue.”
In his response, Governor Adams Oshiomhole thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for providing the leadership to galvanize support for the displaced persons because the challenge of the flooding was enormous.
He said: “I want to appreciate Mr. President for putting up such a high-powered committee that has laboured to get to this level, with compassion to share part of their resources in a coordinated effort to mitigate the sufferings of the victims and give them hope. Mr. President has done extremely well. He has helped to tell us, as Nigerians, that we should be our brothers’ keepers in times of need.”
The governor lamented the gravity of the flood saying, “the challenge of the flood is enormous. In the short run, we want to make sure that our brothers and sisters are not allowed to die of starvation having been displayed by the flood, their farmlands destroyed, livestock destroyed and family life destabilized.”
Expressing joy that Nigerians have reacted positively to the displaced persons’ plights by donating relief materials, he said he was encouraged by the way Nigerians have reacted across the length and breadth of the country.