By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged state and local government authorities to be alive to their responsibilities during the occurence of natural disasters instead of always waiting for federal government interventions.
In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President commiserated with victims of natural disasters especially floods which have ravaged some states of the Federation recently, particularly, in the Southwest and Southeastern parts of the country.
While the President noted that this phenomenon was not peculiar to Nigeria as evident in other parts of the world, he assured that the occurrence, attributable in part to climate change, was attracting his attention and those of other world leaders, as evidenced by series of meetings and conferences on the phenomenon, the latest of which happened on the margins of the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
Commending the efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for its intervention activities so far, bringing succour to victims in different parts of the country, the President expressed concerns that there were overwhelming recourse to the federal body to come to the aid of the distressed whenever disasters occur, which should normally not be the case.
He reminded other stakeholders of their roles as spelt out in the policy document on disaster management in the country, specifically calling on local and state governments to live up to their responsibilities by coming to the assistance of victims that fall within their purview.
He assured all Nigerians of his steadfast commitment to issues bordering on their welfare, promising that his administration was determined to inculcate better coordination of the plight of the citizenry through the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.