The Oba of Ogbaland, Eze Nwachuku Nnam-Obi III has faulted those who ascribe the current flood disaster in the Orashi region as natural phenomenon.
Speaking when members of the State Flood Management Taskforce visited him at his palace in Omoku, headquarters of Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area on Saturday, the Oba described as the height of misrepresentation, any ascription of this year’s flood as a natural disaster.
He argued that lack of proactiveness on the part of relevant authorities to stem warnings was rather the problem and not the result of nature.
He said: “I think responsible leadership is all about responding to situations firmly.
It is about hearing the cries of the people. Weeping when they weep, and maybe dancing and singing when it’s time for that”.
According to the Ogba monarch, “There is no denying the fact that as we are, the entire are here is seriously inundated. Some call it natural disaster by reason of the element of being water.
But some of us see it differently as man-made. Man-made because there are many things we could have done in the past which we would have ameliorated the effects we have today”.
Oba Nnam Obi III explained that if the water ways which have been silted up over the years were dredged, dams built and ‘men merely talked a little beyond themselves’, the people would not be sorrowing so much as a nation, because of the act of opening up dams created by man.
“So when people say natural disasters, I merely laugh. When God calls on us, I know.
But whatever be the case, it is instructive to understand that the River Niger that is flooding us is here with us.
Incidentally in Rivers State, this is the only point you find it, this local government of ONELGA because we have four major Rivers here alone in the entire state.
We are talking about the Sombrero, we are talking about Orashi, we are talking of Onita and we are talking about the Niger.
“When this things flow from Kogi where they are shouting everywhere and where we have also seen disaster, it empties out this way.
You notice why the state is in a critical and vantage point, where we must spearhead actions. Speaking much grammar may not be a call for today”, he said.
The Eze Ogba expressed the hope that the nation would realize the predicament it has found itself, so the authorities could take time to plan before taking actions.
He said: “You don’t go turning on taps having taken cognizance of the buckets or whatever container you need to take the waters with for the possible spillover effects”.
He concluded: “If I say the federal government should come here, I’m not sure I’ll be speaking too much. NEMA ought to be here.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Services ought to be here. Every agency that is necessary should be in this state to have the first hand feel of what it’s like here”.