Bayelsa Youths To Osinbajo: 'Where's Our Rice?'
The visit of the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to Bayelsa State was for flood victims but the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state needed to draw crowd to the party's secretariat to welcome him.
Bayelsa is a state ruled by the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) and the APC knew people would ignore the visit especially as it only concerned flood victims.
Thus, members of the party in the state needed to gather their supporters to welcome the Vice President and prove that they had supporters.
Supporters of the APC were expected to converge at the party's secretariats located along Mbiama-Yenagoa Road. But that didn't happen as people went about their daily activities, concerned about what to eat.
The party leaders then sent out word to some of their supporters telling them that food stuff would be distributed at the secretariat.
At about 10:a.m, as the sun rose slowly to the centre of the sky and the gentle morning breeze began to heat up, the party secretariat began to fill up with the hungry supporters, most of them clutching unto folded plastic bags which would be used to carry their share of food.
Professor Osinbajo accompanied by the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, Minister of Environment, Magnus Abe, former governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Jibrin went straight to inspect camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in lgbogene.
At lgbogene, the Vice President explained that they were in the state on behalf of President Muhammad Buhari. He expressed shock at the level of damage done by the flood.
"Dredging of rivers will help in dealing with constant flood in Nigeria," he said and advised that solid waste should not be dumped inside water.
"Steps will be taken to prevent a repeat of these disaster.
"We have seen the major disaster and will support the state government in resettling those affected,” Professor Osinbajo promised.
Governor Dickson, however, revealed that the state government had 13 IDPs camps in the state and intended to create three more to accommodate more victims of this disaster.
He said many Bayelsans had lost their homes, businesses and farmlands as a result of the flood.
Some of the victims of the flooding have taken refuge at St. John's Catholic Church lgbogene and the Vicar General of Catholic Diocese of Bomadi, who is also in charge of the church, Reverend Father Joseph Opelemen, said the coming of the Vice President had made the suffering flood victims to realise that they are not alone.
He pleaded for help concerning the victims at the church premises.
While that was going on, some of the APC supporters who were lured to the secretariat with promises of food stuff, got tired of waiting.
Young boys numbering over 30 barricaded the major road chanting "We dey hungry, Osinbajo where our rice".
Suddenly, some of them started exchanging blows with each other.
Road users ran helter skelter for safety. Those who could not withstand the heat of the fights and arguments, ran out of the secretariat while others stood watching from a distance.
Officials of the Nigerian police force had to step in to douse the tension.
A teacher who is also a flood victim told Bounce News that she was happy about the promises made by the Vice President and hoped that it would not be a case of 'the more you look, the less you see.'