Should President Buhari not have visited Benue state already?

by Alexander Onukwue

The senior special assistant to President Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, released a statement on the thoughts of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, on the floods currently wreaking havoc in Makurdi, Benue State.

According to Mr Shehu, the president “has received with great concern reports of the flooding in Benue State” and “has directed the National Emergency Management Agency to immediately mobilize personnel and resources to come to the aid of the victims of the flooding”. This was subsequently tweeted from the President’s twitter handle @MBuhari which further said he will be “closely monitoring the situation, and will be receiving regular updates on the scale of the disaster, as well as the federal government’s humanitarian response”

President Buhari is currently in his home town of Daura observing the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations. The Federal Government declared Friday and Monday next week as public holidays to mark the events, hence the President will not be in his office till Tuesday, September 5.

President Buhari’s statement says he “extends his sympathies to the government and people of Benue State” but why has he not visited the State to ascertain the situation first hand?

The floods began on Sunday, August 27, meaning that it has been on for six days. With the intention to travel to Daura for the holidays, it would have seemed necessary and worthy of the President make a stop at Makurdi in an act of solidarity with the Nigerian people of that devastated state.

As good as tweeted “sympathies” might be, it is really no more than the official memoranda that fulfills all righteousness. The minimum requirement should be that the people have a direct feel of the presence of the highest authority in the land, together with the assurance “that the federal government will make available any assistance needed to enable the state government and the affected communities cope with and surmount the impact of the flooding”.


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