November 13, 2022

Flood: Bayelsa begins closure of IDP camps

Breaking: Diri wins Bayelsa governorship election

Gov. Diri

By Emem Idio, Yenagoa

Bayelsa State government has commenced the official closing down of all internally displaced persons ,IDP, camps  set  up to shelter and cater for the victims of this year’s flood disaster.

The largest IDP camp located at the Ox-Bow Lake Pavilion was shut down on Saturday, while others in the Igbogene suburb of the state capital and elsewhere were closed on Sunday.

At the Ox-Bow Lake Pavilion IDP centre, an open-air thanksgiving was held ahead of the last meal that was served to the flood victims before they started returning to their various houses.

In his brief sermon, the Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state and President of the Bayelsa Baptist Conference, Dr Abili Abili, took a sermon from Isaiah 43:1-2 and Genesis 9:10-15, where he assured the IDPs that God had promised that He would not destroy the earth with flood again.

“As you are going back home, remember God has promised that he would not destroy the world with flood as it happened in the days of Noah. Remember God and turn to Him,” he admonished them.

The Commandant of the Ox-Bow Lake Pavilion IDP Camp, Ebiuwou Koku-Obiyai, praised the state governor, Douye Diri, for his show of empathy, compassion and capacity in the management of this year’s flooding and victims in the state.

Koku-Obiyai, who is also the Chief Whip of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, said over 12,000 IDPs were accommodated in the camp, stressing that the state government fed them daily for the 28 days the camping lasted without any death recorded.

On the complaint that the water was yet to dry up in some areas before closing the IDP camps she said: “Many of them (IDPs) would not like to go because of the nature of feeding. We are all Bayelsans and we know the flood has receded in so many places. Even as we are talking, the flood is receding. So we know; we are Bayelsans.

“So, we will allow people to say what they want. We are not insensitive to that. The governor, ordinarily, would have closed this camp on Wednesday. But we are also observing what is happening in places, which is why the governor and the government decided to close this camp on Saturday and Igbogene camps on Sunday. We have been here for 27 to 28 days.”