By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Managing Director of Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa has pledged the Commission’s resolve to advocate for the reconstruction of Idah-Onyedega road linking the the flood-ravaged Ibaji Local Government Area with the outside world.
The Managing Director gave the assurance at the Palace of Eje of Ibaji, Ajofe John Egwemi on Tuesday, at Onyedega, headquarters of the Council, while on tour of communities ravaged by floods as a result activities hydro-electric power generating dams.
The tour, according to him was to avail the Commission’s management, opportunity to assess the level of devastation and afford the community members the chance to participate in identifying possible areas of intervention.
Yelwa conceded to the fact that resources for the reconstruction of the road was enormous and beyond the Commission’s reach but added that because issues of safety and sources of livelihood were involved, there was need for urgent intervention.
He said that HYPPADEC would therefore use its influence to drum up support through relevant government agencies and institutions for the reconstruction of the all-important road in view of sufferings and hardships being encountered by communities.
“We have come, we have seen and it is a pathetic situation. The journalists that came with us will join us in the advocacy to address this challenge and liberate the over 67 communities trapped here”, the recently turbaned “Abeneche Atta-Igala” declared.
He assured the people that with the little resources at he Commission’s disposal, “we shall continue to do our best to address these challenges and improve your well-being.”
The HYPPADEC boss approved the drilling of two additional boreholes, solar energy for all the communities, (twice the number requested) as well as scholarships, increased medical outreach, motorcycles and reconstruction of primary schools classroom blocks.
Speaking earlier after the receiving the HYPPADEC team with traditional breaking of kola nuts, the Eje of Ibaji, Ajofe John Egwemi, commended the Commission for the various “Wonderful” interventions especially during the 2022 flooding.
He said there was great need to pat the Commission on the back as, “When you are helped by someone, it is good to say how much he has helped you so that he can do more for you.
“HYPPADEC is a blessing to us in Nigeria. You have done so many things for us. We call on you to help shout to the Federal Government and relevant authorities to come to our aid.
“Our road is terrible. Why is it so? “It is because of the flooding, we are cut off, the break in the school system is pathetic, our health is compromised, diseases abound, our economic crops are destroyed all because of the flood.
“We are suffering all these because our voices are not loud enough. Could you please tell the Federal Government for us.
“Please, help us talk to the Federal Government to dredge the Rivers Niger and Benue and let them build dams on the two major rivers. Smaller countries have their dams and everyday, we face threats from Cameroon over release of water.
“Let us for God’s sake built our own dams. If we are able to build at least two dams, one each on Niger and Benue with well coordinated dredging, the flooding menace and threats will be finally laid to rest”, he said.
Mr Victor Adewale Omofaiye Commissioner for Environment while speaking at the occasion said issue of dredging and road reconstruction was beyond the scope of the state government.
He said that the state government would however, continue to provide succour to alleviate the sufferings of the people adding that should the NiMET prediction of flooding come true, temporary settlements would be arranged.
Highlight of the occasion was the colourful celebration of the Managing Director’s 65th birthday with prayers for good health and more wisdom for him to serve the country and humanity better at higher capacity. (Ends)