Worried by the insensitivity of the federal government towards the plight of victims of the recent flood in Bayelsa State and the alleged failure of the government to prevent the flood in the first instance, traditional rulers in the state have taken steps to secure a $2 trillion reparation from the federal government.
A team of senior lawyers are already being assembled by the royal fathers to engage the federal government. The traditional rulers are not happy that the government failed in its responsibility to protect the people from the flood havoc.
Even when the flood had ravaged the entire state, the federal government feigned ignorance of the extent of the devastation and did nothing to assuage the people.
Chairman of the state council of traditional rulers, King Bubaraye Dakolo told TNN in an exclusive interview in Yenagoa, that the federal government must be made to pay for its sins against Bayelsa people.
He said “The federal government is solely responsible and ought to be held completely responsible to pay for the loss of lives and all the damage caused here in the Niger Delta.
“I believe that people will hear what I am saying and the SANs in the Niger Delta, the SANs in Bayelsa State, and the government of Bayelsa State shall wake up and institute a civil or criminal proceedings against the federal government of Nigeria and ensure that they pay all the amount they can pay for this untold hardship which they tried to deny, even though later they accepted, that was meted to my people.
He said the minimum that could be done was to approach the court for an order against the federal government. “The federal government will be compelled to have a timetable of regular desilting.
“Some think that it’s just by building more dams, no. It’s not about building dams; you must consider what happens downstream. What happens to these guys who have been surviving on, or in this river or by this river?”
“I am a scientist and what I’ve said, I can prove and if you want to take a tour, take a tour round and ask people; they will show you how many islands have developed between 1970 and now, along the Benue and Niger River systems, because of that first dam.
“So, for those of us who know, the federal government is just the culprit, the one who has done everything, and of course, because in Nigeria we tend to be like this, not bothering about doing anything well, nobody is even seeing that the whole of these thing was orchestrated about 60 years ago, by the federal government.”
Dakolo said he would synergise with other stakeholders, including the state government, to launch a legal battle against the federal government on the matter. The reparation, he insisted, must be paid by the federal government, while also getting the government to take deliberate steps to prevent future flooding of the region in future.