By Danusa Ocholi
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has bemoaned the huge losses incurred by rice farmers in the State as a result of the flood which devastated the area recently. Governor Ishaku lamented in an interview on a national television monitored in Abuja on a Monday, that “a big time farmer in my State lost as much as 100 million Naira worth of rice he was expecting to harvest as a result of the flood which devastated the great part of the state this is most devastating.”
Governor Ishaku said that the affected farmer contemplated committing suicide until he was persuaded from taking such a heinous step by his neighbors.
According to the Governor: “The farmer in question from the report reaching me was not the only one affected. There are many others, in hundreds who have lost their crops worth millions of Naira, billions of Naira to the flood.” Earlier the Taraba State Governor accused the Federal Government of by-passing the state government in the distribution of relief assistance to the people of the State.
Gov. Ishaku stated this shortly after he inspected the areas in Jalingo, the State capital that were affected by flood.
The Governor, who called on the Federal Government to assist victims of the flood, however, lamented that most times relief assistance from the Federal Government do not pass through the Taraba government, the situation he described as “unknown procedure”.
He said: “Recently I understood the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs were here sharing money to people. I tried to get to the Minister, but I couldn’t get her.
“Generally, assistance from the Federal Government doesn’t get us in Taraba and even when it does, it comes through some certain proxies. This is an unknown procedure.
“Any help that is coming to Taraba should come through the government. We have established ways of doing things in the state. We have the State Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs existing in the State.
“I see no reason why the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs cannot liaise with her counterpart ministry in the state in reaching out to the people,” he lamented.
Governor Ishaku added: “Before I came back to recover the animals, the water had increased,” he said. “We just rushed out and left them there because I cannot predict what could happen.”