By Terese Tse
Several communities in Kwande and Ushongo local governments have raised the alarm over threat of faminie following several months of drought, seen as the worst ever in the history of both local governments.
A former law maker, Hon. Terkimbi Nyakuma who conducted a group of journalists around the communities has appealed to the state government to come to the aid of the people of the affected communities.
According to him, the inexplicable drought has left the people of the affected communities in fear and anxiety.
The former lawmaker, said with the permission and support of the two council bosses; Hon. (Mrs) Tartor Chiason of Kwande and Hon. Joseph Asawa of Ushongo, it has become necessary for him to draw the attention of the government to the plight of his people
“My people are faced with uncertainties because we had never experienced this kind of drought before now. It is disastrous as it has cause plants to wither and die; posing an impending doom to the people. This drought has lasted close to three months, spanning across the time that crops should have yielded. This highly suggests that Nigeria as a nation is at the verge of food shortage if government at all levels do not rise to the occasion because else where you have flooding and here you have drought.
“Right now, I am not a holder of any political office, but I had served this state in different capacities. I was a two time representative of Ushongo Constituency in the State House of Assembly and a one-time Commissioner of Agriculture in the state so I feel it is not out of place for me to draw the attention of government to the plight of my people even without a political office. Once you are elected to serve, you remain a passionate advocate of sustainable development and service to your people gives you a sense of intense gratification. So it does not matter whether I am the first person in this extraction to be making this passionate appeal, there is always a pacesetter in every situation and I had a hundred percent trust that more hands shall align with me to champion this course.
“The ravage you see for yourselves in Ikôv, Yaav, Lia, Adagi and Injior among several other communities that we toured is a clear representative of what is obtainable in virtually all the communities across the region so we cannot afford to watch the situation to get out of hand before we react. We are seriously in a problem, The Federal Government, Central Bank and other interventions schemes that made it a duty to provide succor for the people has gone down the line because of the global pandemic crisis so we resort to state government to provide inputs that will put people on track and give them the needed support.
“Governor Samuel Ortom administration has been working round the clock to create an enabling environment that would boost productivity and ensure food security so I am certain that he will respond positively to this call without hesitation. We also call on the representatives of the people at all levels and other spirited individuals that have capabilities to make interventions that would reverse this significant damage which outcome is unimaginable.
Explaining the effect of the situation on his community, the traditional head of Mata (Mue Ter u Mata), His Royal Highness, Chief Daniel Ayada DSP retired said “we are reported to be the highest producers of crops in the whole of Ushongo Local Government so there will likely be a famine if government did not react to the urgency of our quest. It is very usual; this is what I have never witnessed in the history of my living as old as I am. Normally, we would start feeling rainfall in the twilight of March but for this year, it started in April with just two rainfalls recorded till the first week of May where it temporary stop up until August that it rained once. Where we began to witness real downpour is in this present September that we are so you can see that a lot of the crops will cultivated had stunted growth such that we have to carry out a replantation of same crops with hope that it will yield before the wet season runs out. Under right circumstances, we are supposed to be enjoying new yams now but as you can see, there is nothing beneath apart from the yam seedlings. We do not take delight in making unnecessary proposals and appeals to government as a people but matters have reached a stage where circumstances have mandated us to sought for this intervention. This situation has become too much for us to contain so we should be given food items with financial backing from the government of the day that could have quick impact on our lives”.
According to the councilor representing the Mendev Council Ward, Hon. Bemgba Baaji “we responded to the yearnings and agitations of our people in our own little way as a council but the matter is obviously above our powers that is why we are stumbling on our mother government. As representatives of the people at the grassroots, you live with them and you are been in contact with them on daily basis so you are hit directly by their tribulations. Our people are predominantly farmers who depended on farming activities for their livelihood so you can imagine how it felt when your one and only source of livelihood is threatened” he explained.
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