Enugu Governor Canvasses Robust Response to Disasters
By Ada Anioji
Concerned over the prevalent poor attitudes to disaster situations in the country, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has stressed the importance of mobilizing people at local levels in managing disasters and internally-displaced persons.
Governor Ugwuanyi gave the advice on Wednesday in Enugu at a two-day workshop organized by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally-Displaced Persons.
The governor who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo noted that locals are often the victims of both natural and man-made emergencies, adding that including them in the response plan will help mitigate their pains.
“It is worthy to engage the people at the local levels who are the ones that actually feel the impact of both the positive and negative sides of migration and management of the displaced persons,” the governor said.
Commending the commission for the initiative, he noted that giving succour to victims of conflicts and disasters has become more expedient now that flooding and terrorism are taking a huge toll on Nigerians.
“It is a welcome initiative at this time when incidents of conflicts and natural disasters that force people to migrate have been on the increase in recent times,” he said, assuring them of his administration’s continued support.
Earlier in her speech, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally-Displaced Persons, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said that prior to the decision to localize disaster management efforts at stemming the negative effects of emergencies had been restricted to federal institutions. This, she said, had made the task both cumbersome with minimal results achieved.
She explained that the commission’s activities has been decentralized and would henceforth be coordinated by the commission’s zonal officers for the realization of bottom-up approach in the migration governance structure.
The commission’s zonal office in the state was later inaugurated by the deputy governor who had earlier received members of the delegation when they paid a courtesy call at the Government House, Enugu.