Governor Willie Obiano Tuesday said four of Anambra’s 21 local governments have been submerged in flood.
Mr Obiano said this while addressing journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
The governor also spoke on his discussion with the president on matters like the second Niger Bridge and the federal roads in Anambra.
Read excerpts of Mr Obiano’s interview with journalists below.
Obiano: Good Afternoon
As usual, I come once in a while to brief Mr President on the developments we are having in Anambra State and we do have a lot of beautiful developments. We also have some that bothered me to come right now, which is the flood.
Four of my local governments, that is four out of 21, are under water now as we speak because of this flood and it affected a lot of things, properties which include farm produce and what have you. So, I called on Mr President to assist us at this very crucial time being a COVID time. And now, the flood we are experiencing this time around, is like 2012 which is terrible.
So, he promised to do something immediately.
I did also appraise him on the progress so far made on the 2nd Niger Bridge. If you watch from their side, you will see that almost half of that bridge has been done. But because the water level is very high, the contractor working in that bridge requires some equipment which they’ve already purchased long ago sitting in Germany and requires some support from Central Bank to be able to bring in those equipment. I did mention that to him and the president noted that and said he will do something about that.
The other point was on the Federal University of Education in Aguleri. Anambra North Senatorial District does not have any federal institution at all. Other two senatorial districts have two or three federal institutions. The place is part of the place I just told you that is flooded – Anambra West, Anambra East, the whole of Anambra West is under water now, half of Anambra East is under Water, Ogbaru area is under water. All these are majorly Anambra North. So, the Senate graciously approved and wrote to Mr President to assent to the bill that they passed. This letter was written 19th September 2019. So, Mr President has agreed to quickly acquiesce to that so that this institution can move on.
On my own, I’ve paid compensation to the land owners and I’ve started the fencing of the massive property that is. And I’m doing the gatehouse of the institution. All I require is Mr President’s support by acquiescing to the recommendations of the Clerk of the National Assembly on 19th September, 2019.
What else did I discuss with Mr. President?
I touched on so many things, I don’t have to tell you everything. You know he’s a father. So, we discussed some family issues. But beyond that, it was a pleasant outing with him this evening.
We did discuss some other roads, federal roads that are in very bad shape, about six of them and I requested Mr President to see if they can go into their budget as they prepare for the budget of next year, to see whether those roads can go into their budget.
I did also talk to him that work has slowed down almost to zero on the Onitsha-Enugu expressway. I understand there are little issues, I don’t know what it is but he also promised to look into that.
Mr President is doing well in Anambra. You know he built the Zik Masoleum that took 23 years to build, the road he’s working on, the Onitsha-Enugu expressway, he finished that road as PTF chairman and he came back as president to come and fix that road again. So, that’s an important thing to remember that he did it before and he is the fellow doing it again.
And of course, we parlayed and what else do you want to know?
Q: May we know the extent of damage in those four local governments?
Obiano: We have over 5,000 people displaced and we already prepared some receptacles where we received the displaced people. But they will need help now and also need help when the water is receding because they lost their property which majorly include their produce which was not harvested before this flood crept in.
I believe Mr President will be able to assist us to be able to support these families that have been displaced in this manner.
Q: The impression is that this president does not care about Anambra. Is this the case?
Obiano: That’s not true. In Anambra, we love the president very much. The president has been doing well, he’s building 2nd Niger Bridge. You think it’s very easy to build 2nd Niger Bridge? And I just told you that he was the fellow that did Enugu-Onitsha expressway when he was chairman of PTF and now, he’s the president fixing the road. The, he built Zik Masoleum. You know you can’t talk about Nigeria without mentioning Zik.
He built a befitting resting place for him. So, we love him in Anambra State.
Q: On the damage, how much are we looking at? How will you get it?
Obiano: Well, Mr President will give me the money and how much is it? I can’t tell you off the cuff but if they give 300 billion, I will like it. You know normally, when you make this kind of presentation, the president will now send NEMA to come and see for themselves what has happened. So, NEMA will work with your team and they will be able to ascertain what the volume is and from there, Mr President will see whether they can take in all of them or part of it as the case may be. So, I believe that process will go that way.