Catholics urged to come to the aid of flood victims

Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama
ABUJA, NIGERIA - The President of the Catholic Bishops` Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama has called on all Catholic and other good spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of thousands of Nigerians displaced by flood that has done havoc in many states of the country.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued recently in Abuja, by Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey the Executive Secretary of Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN) the Non- Governmental Organization of the CBCN.

Expressing deep concern about the recent flooding of different parts of the country, as a result of excessive rainfall in the country and the release of excess water from Ladgo Dam in Cameroun and Niger/Jebba Dams in Nigeria, Fr. Evaristus noted that this has caused devastating damages in some states of the country, including destruction of several farmlands and deaths of about 2000 people.

According to Fr. Evaristus Bassey, the capital cities of Makurdi in Benue State and Lokoja in Kogi State were reported to have been greatly devastated while no fewer than 25 million Nigerians living along the country`s coastal line of Anambra, Niger, Benue, Sokoto, Katsina, Lagos, Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross Rivers States are threatened by displacement as a result of the flooding. He added that over 38,000 people have been displaced in Kano, Jigawa, Cross River, Taraba, Adamawa, Niger and Anambra States.

The Executive Secretary disclosed that Idah Diocese has confirmed that 30,000 persons are now living in 13 camps in Idah, with the number increasing by the day. He continued: `The floods have caused untold hardship to many persons, families and communities in Nigeria. Property worth millions of Naira has been destroyed and many displaced persons are stranded and faced with hunger, disease, lack of shelter and lack of clothing etc.`

While calling for solidarity and support for the affected persons, Fr. Evaristus listed the dioceses of Idah, Lokoja, Auchi, Makurdi, Oturkpo, Yola, Issele-Uku, Bomadi, Jalingo, Kano and Sokoto; as well as the Archdioceses of Onitsha and Owerri as greatly in need of assistance to bring succour to the affected victims of the flood.

Noting that support in cash and kind can be forwarded directly to the Archdioceses and dioceses listed above or CCFN, Fr. Bassey concluded that `the CBCN President has requested that awareness of the untold sufferings of the victims should be created among Catholics, nationwide,` for immediate assistance.

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