President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, expressed his sadness and concern about the devastation caused by floods in his home state, Katsina, and other parts of the country.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President pledged the Federal Government’s support for the victims of the disaster.
Buhari said he had been saddened to observe the devastation and loss of lives caused by the floods in Katsina State and other parts of the federation.
He said he had accordingly directed the National Emergency Management Agency to do everything that would bring succour to the victims wherever they were.
“As rescue and prevention efforts continue, let me express the sincere condolences of my family, the government and people of Nigeria to all the victims of the destruction by the floods.
“Let me assure you that we stand ready to provide, within available resources, every assistance that is needed to bring comfort to those in distress,” the President said.
Governor Aminu Masari on Monday evening confirmed that 44 lives were lost while 20 people were missing in the overnight rainstorm that ravaged Katsina State border town of Jibia.
The rainstorm reportedly started about 11 pm on Sunday and it lasted over two hours.
The governor, who made the disclosure at a press conference in Katsina, said he had never seen such a disaster in his life.
He said, “You need to go there, it was a real disaster. As of the time we left Jibia, no less than 44 people were confirmed dead while over 500 houses were completely damaged.
“I have informed the President about the incident and he has called to sympathise with the people.
“As a government, we shall find permanent solutions to the problem.
“We know Jibia is a flood-prone area and we build drainage. But what happened was that instead of water to flow to the river through the drainage, water from the river was flowing back into the drainage, thereby causing the flooding during the rainstorm.
“We are going to redirect the water flow and I have passed out necessary instructions.
“We have also taken measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims.
“The National Emergency Management Agency has also been duly informed and they are sending relief materials to the victims.”
The Executive Secretary, Katsina State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Aminu Waziri, had earlier said, “What we are doing presently is to find temporary accommodation for those whose houses have been washed away or damaged. We must provide them where they can put their heads for heaven may open up again.
“Sympathisers from our neighbouring country, Niger, helped us fish out two bodies from their river.”
Sources said that the rainstorm also damaged farms, while over 260 livestock including cattle, sheep and goats were killed.
The sources said areas that were badly affected included Tundun Takari, Dan Tudu, Unguwar kwakwa and Unguwar Mai Kwari.