…ask NEMA to provide relief materials for victims of Kebbi boat mishaps
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
House of Representatives, Tuesday, urged the Federal Government, precisely the Inspector General of Police to establish Mobile Police post in all the border wards of Ado local government area of Benue State.
The House also urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to provide relief materials for the victims of Warrah boat mishaps in Kebbi State.
The resolutions followed two separate motions considered at the plenary.
The motions were presented by Hons. Francis Otta Agbo and Tanku Sununu respectively.
In his motion, Agbo listed the border wards as Ekile, Ijigban, Ulayi, and Akpoge- Ogbilolo.
He said: “In the wee hours of Sunday, 30th May 2021, gunmen believed to be Fulani Mercenaries invaded Izzi Communities in Ekile and Ijigban Wards in Ado LGA, Benue State and butchered about 130 innocent Izzi people.
“The communities invaded are Ndobasi, Ataloga, Odoke, Ndigwe, Ekpufu, all in Ekile Ward, while many Izzi people were also murdered in Obakotor village, in Ijigban Ward.
“The gunmen were believed to have carried out this heinous crime to avenge the killing of one of their own, a prominent Fulani herder knew as Alhaji Isa Musa in Ataloga. Alhaji Musa was reportedly killed by four IPOB/ESN Members while returning from the popular Ndobasi Market in Ekile Ward in February, this year.
“IPOB openly claimed responsibility for the act. And the Benue State Government promptly arrested the culprits and handed them over to the police and they have since been prosecuted and convicted.
“I joined the Benue State Government to intervene on the matter and assuage the family of Alhaji Musa.
We reached a truce but our efforts turned out to be the peace of the graveyard, as the family of Alhaji Musa allegedly mobilized mercenaries and launched a savage attack on the peaceful and law abiding members of my Constituency, who knew nothing about the killing of Alhaji Musa.
“A total number of 130 people were murdered by the Fulani Gunmen and have since been buried while several people are still receiving treatment in the neighboring hospitals! The multi-billion Ndobasi market was razed down and I wept profusely at sighting the carnage unleashed on my beloved people. Oh, my people, my dear Izzi people!
Aside from the invasion of Ekile Ward by the Fulani Gunmen, there is the ongoing crisis between the Ezza and Effiom people, principally in Ulayi District, of Ado LGA of Benue State, which has led to the spiral of killings, with thousands rendered homeless, as well as, the destruction of property and businesses running into billions of naira in the popular Inikiri market.
“The Ulayi crisis emanated from Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State, where the Effiom and Ezza people took arms against one another over a mere National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) election but spilled to Ado LGA where we also have a sizeable population of Ezza and Effiom people as my beloved constituents.
“The Fulani-induced carnage and the Effiom/ Ezza crisis have left in their wake, gory tales of woes, agonies of refugees, spilling of innocent blood, and avoidable humanitarian crisis. Consequently, several IDP camps have been created in Ado LGA, to provide temporary shelter to the refugees!
Also aware that Experts have also predicted hyper hunger and starvation in Benue State and particularly, in my Federal Constituency next year, as Farmers can no longer go to their farms in this raining season, or markets to ply their trade for fear of the unknown”.
Adopting the motion, the urged the NEMA to urgently supply relief materials to the affected Izzi communities in Ado LGA, Benue State, urging the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Social Development to pay the medical bills of the surviving victims and grant them Covid-19 loans or grants to pick the pieces of their lives.
On the boat mishaps, the mover, Sununu who moved the motion on behalf of 7 other lawmakers noted that the recent boat mishap that occurred in Wara axis of River Niger was a national disaster.
He said that the capsized boat was ferrying over 165 people from Loko Minna area in Niger state to Warrah town of Kebbi state on Wednesday 26th of May, 2021.
According to him, there were only 22 survivors and 98 bodies so far recovered with over 45 bodies missing.
He said: “The victims were majority youth and women actively seeking for their means of livelihood.
“The canoe mishaps have been a recurrent happening in the area and Kebbi State in general.
“For instance, in just 7 months in 2017 from the month of April to October 33 deaths were recorded from 3 boats mishaps in Yauri Emirate comprising of Ngaski, Shanga and Yauri local government areas.
“Similarly, in recent times, the Kebbi waterways recorded more than 8 boat mishaps with over 246 people drowned in the River Niger in Yauri, Warrah, Bagudo, and Lolo areas of the state”.
Sununu observed that that despite the recurrent nature of the boat mishap and lost of lives, there was no emergency rescue boat available in the area.
He said that that several correspondences were made by His Royal Highness the Emir of Yauri to Nigerian Inland waterways calling on measures to improve safety in our waterways in the area to avert major accident. However, not much was done until this National tragedy.
Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency’(NEMA) to provide immediate emergency relief support to the survivors and families of the deceased victims of boat mishap.
It also urged the Federal Ministry of Transportation through NIMASA and NIWA to find causes of the incessant boat mishap.
While urging NIMASA and NIWA to establish functional offices in Yauri, the House also called on NIWA and HYPADEC to collaborate to improve safety by clearing the waterways through blasting of heavy stones, cutting of stumps of trees, and putting floating markers.
The parliament also urged the government to extend the dredging of River Niger from Baro through Yauri to Lolo and to construct mini port in Yauri.