By Morgan Adikwu
When some one is bitten by a snake, when he sights a worm, he will be terrified….
The adoption of both the Traditional/ Historical and Empirical approach in explaining phenomena events is largely determined by its subject matter. The analysis of the remote and immediate causes and aftermath of Flood in Benue State and Nigeria in general can not be limited to the unrealistic Empirical and sit in Abuja methodological approach of The Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency.
Fortnight ago, I wrote on this platform on the above subject matter, and the recent activities around River Benue necessitates a revisitation
The gradual return of normacy to the affected areas is always accompany with a sigh of relief and to embark on cleaning and clearing the dirt and debris jettioned by the flood. More worrisome, in the entire gamut of the the flooding saga, is the appalling panic created by the government Agencies. Rather than, seeking for permanent panacea or palliative to cushion the annual effects of the rise in water level, these government agencies who are yet to come to terms with the Change mantra of the present Administration are still enmeshed in the old ways.
It is out of place for the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency to rely on data and statistic of 2012 to be predicting year to year flood level in Nigeria. The Agency failed to take into account, the natural historical movement of River flow to Nigeria, before the construction of the Lagdo Dam and makes it look as if, Lagdo Dam is the source of the flood in Nigeria. Before the construction of the Lagdo Dam, between April and November, there is rise in the water level in River Benue, that causes flood.
However, the annual evacuation of water from Lagdo Dam exacerbate the plight of the people living at the River bank. The question that Agency failed to take note of, is how many metric ton of water is being release every year from the Lagdo Dam, how many channels are there from Lagdo Dam to Adamawa, Taraba,Benue down to Kogi when Niger meet with Benue to determine the flow of the water from the river to the hither land.
That is, the metre the flood will cover from the river to the hither land or street that the people resides. Because, it is not where the 2012 flood stopped, that the 2013, 2014 and even the 2015 flood stopped. But each since from 2012, the agency alway sounded as if similar event will repeat itself and this makes the people to give deaf ears to the warning of impending flood, since the predictions are not as predicted.
In the subsequent years, the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency meeds to be guided with both the Historical/ Traditional and Empirical movement of water to base their prediction. Also, collect the relevant information, not just the release of water but the quantum of water to be release from the Lagdo Dam Authority.
The activities of River Katsina Ala and others with the rain fall level should not be undermine for the absolute concentration to the Lagdo Dam. Also, of great importance, is the maintainance of functional drainage system and channels, the dredging of the River Benue is the sine qua non of putting to rest the idea of the annual ‘destitutenisation’ of Benue people by establishing IDPs camps creating conduit pipe for unscrupulous government officials to enlarge their coast.
It is not surprising that, the five hundred million naira (#500,000,000.00) allocated to Benue State as compensation to victims of the flood in 2012 never get to the victims. The recent testimony from the office of the Accountant General of Benue State, revealed that the former governor ordered that, three hundred million naira been allocated to Government House and two hundred million naira to Ministry of Water Resource for unknown purpose, while the actual victims were left in their woes.