Jonathan’s close ally, Ankio Briggs, condemns president’s broadcast

Ms. Briggs said President Jonathan’s government does not have the capacity to manage the floods.

A Niger-Delta rights activist and ally of President Goodluck Jonathan, Ankio Briggs, has criticised the president’s national broadcast, made on Tuesday morning.

In the broadcast, focused on the floods ravaging several states of the country, the President announced the categorization of flood affected states and the approval of monies to the states. Mr. Jonathan also announced the setting up of a committee to raise funds to address the floods.

Ms. Briggs, who spoke on a Channels Television program, however condemned each of the major decisions announced by Mr. Jonathan.

While speaking on the flood fund committee, Ms. Briggs said “setting up committee now, we are setting up committee now that will do what. The Government does not even know the affected communities.”

The rights activist who has just visited flood ravaged communities in some Niger-delta States like Bayelsa and Rivers also condemned the categorisation of flood ravaged states saying “it is not about categorising states in category A and B. How did they arrive at these categories?”

While talking about the money to be given to the affected states, Ms. Briggs said “it is not about funds. We have money. It is about help. Federal Government, States, Local Governments does not have capacity. We need international help.”


Declare disaster areas

Ms. Briggs said her observation from her visit to the affected communities shows that governments at all levels do not have the capacity to address the flood situation.

“They (governments) don’t have capacity to do anything. Nigeria does not have capacity to run this disaster, to manage this disaster,” she said.

She gave several examples of dire situations flood victims in the Niger Delta are living including living ion house ceilings, living in submerged houses and so on.

Ms. Briggs urged the Federal Government to declare flood ravaged states as disaster areas, and to seek international help in addressing the flood.

She urged the international community and aid agencies to come to the aid of Nigeria over the flooding.

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