Sunday, October 16, 2022, was a very sad day for the hundreds of Rivers people from Abua, Ahoada East and Ahoada West, LGAs, displaced by the recent devastating floods, which submerged their homes, destroyed their properties and instantly turned them into internally displaced persons living in makeshift camps, under the most horrible, conditions, when security agents, acting on the instructions of the Local Government Chairmen, stubbornly prevented Chief Dumo Lulu-briggs from gaining access to the IDP Camps, to sympathise with them and distribute relief materials to victims of the flood disaster.
Chief Dumo Lulu-briggs, who is the Rivers Accord Guber Candidate, had voluntarily embarked on the humanitarian mission as a patriotic Nigerian and Rivers son, to visit, empathise and donate relief items to these people displaced by the natural disaster, but was summarily stopped by unfriendy, mean-spirited agents of the government, posing as some kind of security apparachick and ostensibly acting on the orders and instructions of the Local Government Chairman, to prevent him from actualizing the humane mission he and his team had taken upon himself, to bring succour to the displaced people..
Eye witness accounts opine that Chief Lulu-Briggs was denied access to these Rivers people living in the most deplorable and pitiable conditions in the makeshift camps, on the grounds that he did not have a permit from the Local Government Chairman, authorizing him to visit and share relief materials to the displaced flood victims; an action which those who witnessed the unfortunate episode, claimed was because he is the very popular candidate of a strong political party and this was just a petty underhand gimmick to downplay his popularity and influence ahead of the 2023 election, all in the name of politics.
He was then told to tender a letter of permit signed by the Local Government Chairman, granting him access and authorization to the camp, in order to interact with the displaced people and share much needed relief materials to them in this their time of serious need and suffering and all entreaties, invoking the plight of these poor Rivers people who were hopelessly dislocated and and in great distress, fell on the deaf ears of the security agents, who stood firmly on their rigid position that there would be no access to the displaced persons without permit from the Council chairman.
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs and his delegation were left stranded to rue the unfortunate turn of events that befell their humanitarian journey, which had started with great joy, purpose and a sense of positive anticipation, and when it became obvious that the government security agents were not going to budge an inch or shift ground, the Rivers Accord Guber Candidate and his team, saddled with the massive relief materials they had come to share to the displaced Rivers people, including food stuffs, beddings and other items which would have made the discomfort in the camp more bearable, had to consider the next best option, after this unexpected, distressing and heartbreaking denial, to bring some real succour to these poor and hopelessly dislocated Rivers people, whose fate and lives were now at the mercy of God and the harsh elements.
This unshakable stance, according to some persons in the shocked and astonished crowd that watched this profane and ungodly drama play out, is indeed a complete show of shame, a glaring lack of sympathy for their fellow humans and another serious and regrettable reflection of how politics has indeed gone very bad in the state under the present Governor Nyesom administration.
It will be recalled that the Rivers State chapter of Accord has always reiterated that it is on a rescue mission to Deliver, Liberate and be a Blessing to the residents of Rivers State and the State at large, through its candidates that are today the very best amongst other candidates in the other political parties.
This is because, it’s only in Accord that you will find those with the Right Hearts and Heads to think Rivers people first and take her out of the wildernesses that she has dwelled in for so long.
Now, for some weeks in some States of the Country, there has been an outbreak of flooding that has caused so much hardship in the lives of Nigerians, and Rivers State isn’t left out.
Here in the State, the inhabitants of some LGAs that have been affected by this disaster have been going through a lot of hardship, and many have been displaced from their homes, which have been submerged and completely taken over by the flood waters.
It’s in the light of the above that the Rivers State Governorship candidate of Accord, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, took it upon himself to show concern and love to his people, Rivers people, the people of Abua, Ahoada East and West LGAs, that were most hit by the flood.
On his arrival at these places, the Governorship candidate who, at the sight of the resultant effect and massive devastation of the flood diaster on his people, became so emotional and heartbroken at what the people are going through said: “I didn’t know it was this bad, but it was a good thing that I came and saw things myself”.
According to him, “this is days and weeks into the flood disaster, you can imagine how terrible our people have been living in the last weeks, this is so very bad”!
Dumo Lulu-Briggs went further to say that, “as humans, you don’t live for yourself, you live for you and the rest of society. At every point in time, that’s what I think God wants us to do; as much as possible, Reach out and Touch.
“We have actually gotten some relief materials and my team felt they should go and get them across to these displaced persons, But I said No, for I have promised Rivers people that I will always be with them, put my foot in same shoes with them, and stay with them to the very end, and so I needed to go and see things for myself.
“Indeed, I saw the harrowing conditions in which our people are living, it’s so very sad, it’s terrible and I pray that things can get better for everyone. God didn’t create this universe for us to suffer, this is no doubt deplorable.
“Society should show a lot more care, and I don’t think there are people who want to do but don’t have the opportunity! No! Everybody has to do, no matter how small, you just have to reach out, you must! You don’t have to own the world before you can share with the next person.
“From the little that you have, you have to share from it, there is no need to be territorial over tiny and little things. We have to be caring for our people, especially for those living in the shadows of life, like I saw today.
“But in all these, with the high level of enthusiasm to assist, make lives a true meaning of what they ought to be as primarily planned by God, that we came here with, to my greatest shock, when we came to the camp, after going through some terrible paths to get to it, we were erroneously stopped by the operators of the Government.
“The PDP agents wanted to know if the Government was aware that we were coming to give some foodstuffs and other relief materials to the people that are internally displaced!
“For me, that was terrible. Politics over human lives? We should emphasize Government. The Level of our Politics is just dangerously sad”, Dumo Lulu-Briggs’s stressed regrettably.
His words: “We play politics with everything. Your people are suffering, dying, and then people leave their destination and come to help, and you want to know first if they are PDP, you want to know if first they have the permission of the PDP Government in Rivers State before they can give Relief materials These are things Donor agencies and Individuals do, for crying out loud.
“Rivers State was a family, you couldn’t even imagine that people are suffering and you would not go to assist, and then the Government that should be encouraging you is the very one stopping you, because it’s a political season.
They don’t want people to gather anywhere, and then get to meet with persons from other political parties. So, you needed to take permission from Government before you will be allowed to see displaced persons to assist them in their time of such dire need!
“Emphasis here is placed on people who are displaced from their homes and living in very terrible conditions. You could hear the local people complaining that people are dying, yet, government is stopping people from bringing relief. I can’t imagine that, it’s so bad!, he lamented.
Dumo Lulu-Briggs continued, “Today, Rivers people live on 3 Questions, 1. How to Live, 2. Where to Live, and 3. What money to Live on. It’s so bad.
Where to live, they don’t have a place to live, there is no place to live or stay, they are displaced from their homes. How do you live and on what money would you live? It’s so bad. These are the 3 questions Rivers people live on today.
“You can only ask if the living standard is stupid? if the economy is stupid? If the living standard is stupid? No! It’s just very sad. I didn’t know how to put this, but we need to rise above this level. We need to take ourselves seriously, we need to take Governance very seriously, we need to deemphasize politics and give preference to the governance which will help spread some level of succour“, he said
Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs lamented that, “at this level when we become so hateful to each other that you can’t have a place to even campaign. You hear all kinds of laws trying to restrict political parties from participating freely as INEC had advised that we should have. He revealed that, at the INEC hall, together with the Police and all the political parties, they gave us what they think that will give us a level playing field, and everybody applauded, only for us to hear days after, all kinds of executive order, and then to make it worse, we saw that even to assist people in need, well you don’t have to be politically correct, you have to be the political party that is rulling in the State, otherwise, you will not even be allowed to reach out to a fellow Rivers person who is in very dire need! I couldn’t imagine that.
“I was however glad that we optionally went into the communities, I could see people first hand, somehow they were so excited to get very little Relief. The excitement was so much. At least, somehow they can put food on the table, for the day. But then, we would have been able to do same on a large scale of peoole if we were allowed to go and assist these displaced persons”, he stated.
He also revealed, “I understand that people in the Odual axis of Abua does not even know how to get to Abua. Some of them even insisted that they will stay back in Odual axis rather than come to Abua, because the last time they were brought, State government didn’t care. So, people have all kinds of worries; people are displaced, yet they want to live on water rather than want to come to Abua, because they felt that living on water is better than coming to a place where you will not even find care. I won’t blame them for their decision, giving to what happened to us, that they won’t find care. Because we took care to the camp, and our care was rejected. He said, we actually went there with tonnes of Indomie noddles, mattresses, mosquito nets, and all that, to give, and we have to come back those. It’s so sad!
“But we will keep trying, those items are meant for people. I won’t give up on them, they are my people and my heart has become large enough to accommodate the patience that will give them the needed solace and succur. I won’t relent”, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the man with the Right leadership heart, said. He foretold, “Tomorrow and the days after, we will keep going to see if it will be possible that we will be able drop a few things here and there”.
“Maybe Government too would have a rethink and begin to allow people to reach out and touch. We need to create that family spirit that we need to take the lives and the livelihood of our people a lot more smoothly than we are doing presently”, he counseled.
According to him, “this deplorable thing just have to stop, for it’s like spitting on the people’s graves. People are suffering and dying, at the same time you couldn’t care. That politics should be over and above everything else? That should not be!”, Dumo Lulu-Briggs said.
In finding a lasting solution to this unfortunate menace, the Governorship candidate of Accord, said, “I understand this is a catastrophe of international dimension, it’s not a local one, therefore, you expect at this time, the governments of the affected States will be engaging with the federal government on an hourly basis, make this an international issue, bring it before the floor of the united nations, bring everybody’s attention to this area”, he recommended. Because we all saw how people are living, people are living in a deplorable pitiable state, yet we are playing politics with it. If we could do all of that, then I wonder what will happen in another 10 years, and by that time, only God knows. It’s so sad.
“But that’s what we need to do. It’s not a local issue, so it’s not something you can solve by taking care of drains. You need to engage first of all, all the States that are affected need to come together, understand that they have a common problem that require a common solution. Engage the Nigerian State, and then the Nigerian State to bring its presence to bear on the International community to intervene in this matter and ensure that this matter is remedied. All these measures are measures that must be taken and taken very quickly, drastically, gigantic measures must be taken. I think that is what needs to be done. If it’s not, then I don’t know what kind of governance we are having”, the Rivers Accord Guber candidate concluded emphatically.
State Publicity Secretary,
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This is really sad indeed, very disheartening. Politics over human lives, where’s the conscience? Where’s the love, the hope and dream for the common man. May God have mercy in all those that has prevented the helpless people from getting relief materials. I pray they don’t find themselves some day in worse situations whereby there’s no one to come through for them.