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*Assures Community On Permanent Solution To Coastal Erosion

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the Federal Government to take the necessary steps to support states in tackling the menace of flooding instead of just issuing alerts.

Speaking in Government House, Yenagoa, on Monday when he received the leadership of Obogoro community on a courtesy visit, Governor Diri noted that tackling flood, erosion and other environmental challenges was costly and cannot be single-handedly handled by states alone.

The governor said almost all communities in the state were affected by constant flooding and erosion, stressing that the government was doing everything within available resources to address the issues.

Diri said as part of efforts to tackle flooding and erosion, his administration has set up a flood and erosion control agency to proffer holistic solution to the environmental issues.

He stated that the government was already addressing the coastal erosion in Obogoro community in Yenagoa local government area, assuring the people that a lasting solution would be found to the menace.

The state’s helmsman thanked the leadership of Obogoro for toeing the path of dialogue instead of a protest planned by some persons in the community.

His words: “When we heard stories of protest, I asked where are my brothers in that community? If there is one community that has benefited from this state and this administration, it is Obogoro. At the end of the day, the leadership of the community rose to the occasion and I appreciate you for standing up.

“On the issue of erosion, you all know that most communities in the state are threatened, including my own community. For now, Obogoro is receiving attention from government.

“When the action was too slow, I had to drag in the Deputy Governor and most of the issues are being resolved. There is no reason for anybody to resort to protest.

“In a state, it is the communities that make up the local government areas. So if they have issues, we have issues too.

“We are not in the business of playing politics with development. I have heard your requests and we will certainly take steps to bring a lasting solution to the problem of erosion in Obogoro.

“Erosion affects almost all communities in Bayelsa. That is why we believe this is not a state government problem alone.

“We need the Federal Government to play key roles. Federal Government issuing warning or alerts to states is not enough. You know we do not have the resources to tackle this issue. We need the federal and international agencies to support us.

“Let me however appreciate the leadership of Obogoro community for engaging the government and for always listening to us.”

Speaking on behalf of Chief Monday Igodo, the community’s paramount ruler, Barr. Francis Igodo expressed appreciation to the state government for projects sited in Obogoro, which include establishing a new secondary school, internal road, ongoing construction of a cottage hospital as well as appointment of sons and daughters of the community into positions of authority.

While describing the erosion in Obogoro community as an existential threat, he appreciated the state government for actions taken so far and suggested sheet piling as an option to solve the menace.

He assured the governor of the community’s continuous support and urged him not to relent in his effort to bring development to every part of the state.

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