Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Delta State: Flood Sacks Immigration Office, Others

The River Niger, overflowing its banks, has sacked the headquarters of the Immigration Service on Asaba-Onitsha express way, damaging property worth millions of Naira including two heavy generating sets and a transformer, and leaving the departing officials combating an invasion of snakes.

Men and officers of the Service were seen evacuating their production equipment and vital documents, using three canoes, watched by hundreds of people who trooped out from various places to sympathise with them over their plight.

The State Controller of Nigeria Immigration Services, Mr. Ishaku Hamad described the efforts they were making to salvage the situation, noting that his boss, the Controller-General, had directed that their property be evacuated to a temporary location. But the temporary place allocated to them was had been found to be inhabitable, so the property was being evacuated to his residential home for safe keeping.

According to him, “We do not have to call people to come and see, you have seen it yourself. This is a natural disaster cutting across Nigeria, we are not exception. Our office is almost submerged; we are trying to evacuate whatever we can evacuate to a temporary site. The properties we can lay our hands on we pick out, the ones we are not able to savage we leave it because life is more important than the properties and I cannot risk the lives of my officers. Snakes have taken over the place, even in my own office, there are snakes everywhere. The snakes must have come from the swamps.”

Continuing, Mr. Hamad said he and his officers were only savaging such important property as passport equipment and booklets. “The extent of damage is too bad; you can see that half of the offices are submerged completely,” he said. “One cannot quantify the damage in terms of Naira and kobo but we have suffered a colossal loss both in material and in equipment.”

On the temporary office, the state comptroller-general said it lacked an access road and is too isolated. He also pointed out that given how important some of the equipment is, thieves could come and attack the officers at night and remove them, which was why he was temporarily moving almost everything to his home. “I need to secure the equipments first of all,” he said.

The rampaging flood also submerged a building belonging to one Mr. Cheaver Oghoriemu at the Infant Jesus road, Asaba leaving his entire household and several others homeless. The flood which wreaked havoc on the state owned Broadcasting Service (DBS), Asaba, and swept through such parts of the state as Umeh town, Uzere town, Anwai and Cable Point. Asaba has been experienced flooding for many years, with many residents rendered homeless each year when the disaster strikes.

For its part, the state government under the leadership of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has been promising to put lasting measures in place, but until now he has failed to do so.

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