DELTA: Tears, sorrow and blood as Patani community battles flooding
…we are going through tough times – Pere of Kabowei Kingdom
..says he will remain in the flood with his subjects
“I will be the last person to flee the kingdom while my subjects are suffering”
GbaramatuVoice on Thursday, October 13, 2022, as it has been doing in the past two weeks, paid a visit to Patani, in Patani Local Government Area of Delta state, to among other things, monitor and document the devastating flood that currently sweeps across the nation, and brought about wanton destruction of lives and property.
Notably, while what we have witnessed and documented in other parts of the state (Delta) remains a challenge, the experience at Patani qualifies as a crisis.
GbaramatuVoice met Patani community, a once peaceful town, totally submerged, its people sacked and property decimated by the flood. We met people faced with social, economic and environmental difficulties with no record of survival except state government, relevant agencies and interventionist groups take drastic steps to address the devastating flood which has left in its trails ‘tears, sorrow and blood’.
Attempt by GbaramatuVoice crew to wade through to the Palace of His Royal Majesty, Barr. Shadrack Erebulu, Aduo III, Pere of Kabowei Kingdom, was made difficult as the palace was not spared by the torrential flood. It was totally submerged.
However, GbaramatuVoice crew in their resourcefulness and ingenuity was able to sail through to the palace. At the palace, the crew to their greatest surprise met His Royal Majesty still in the flooded abode.
Asked why he is still in the palace despite the fact that it’s been overrun by flood?
His Royal Majesty spoke in an emotion laden voice saying: It’s practically very difficult to have the right words because the whole kingdom is going through a tough time, noting that parts of the community that used to be a very busy and lively are now deserted, and roads that used to be smooth and good are now overtaken by floods.
In his words, “It is so bad that you can’t even use your legs to walk around anymore, the same way you just came with a canoe has been the situation and it’s very terrible. It’s really devastating, I just pray that this period is done within no time and life comes back to normal and we pray that God grants every one of us to go through these trying times safely and soundly. My thoughts and prayers are always with every indigene, amongst all our communities both those in Delta and all the communities in Bayelsa, apparently the over 19 communities are all flooded, both in Delta and Bayelsa and my prayers are with every one of us.”
When asked by GbramatuVoice correspondent with complaints by some indigenes that reptiles are invading their current abodes, the monarch replied as follows: Yes, I am aware. Also, two days back, a snake was also somewhere around,I believe the snake was also trying to find dry land. It’s expected that when things like this happen, reptiles are also struggling, so we are just putting some traditional means and ways to discharge them and to be very watchful to see that these things don’t find refuge in our homes.
Still lamenting the current ordeal that has befallen the kingdom, he added; “yes people are moving out trying to secure themselves to uplands and all. But I believe I will be the last to leave because I should see that all my subjects and indigenes of my kingdom are all safe before I leave. I don’t subscribe to the school of thought of ‘save my life’ why that of my people are in danger. I’d rather do all I can to secure their lives if it’s possible to be in it with them and experience it with them and look at laudable and workable solutions. And if it’s so bad that we can’t, we will try as much as possible to move to safety before I think about the possibility of safety, because if I leave, I won’t feel as much as am feeling it now, I won’t experience it the way I am experiencing it. They will be calling me to tell me this is the position and I might not feel their pain as much as I am feeling their pain. So I will be here and I will give the necessary support that I can while we are going through tough times together.”
Aduo III also sent some words to the government. He said in part: I would call on the government, federal and state governments to come to our rescue, the first is for them to send medical personnels to assist what we already have on ground. If It is possible and then also, this is now almost a recurring decimal. The issue of the flood, federal government should make it a thing of priority, look into what can be done to avert this recurrent flooding, from 2012 it has been coming and going at different levels and currently this seems to be higher than that of 2012, this seems to be worse than the previous ones that have come.
“So they should look into, maybe dredging the Niger, creating Dams or maybe opening the Dams. We hear a lot of things from the news and it behooves the federal government to actually find a lasting solution to this recurrent flooding. We do not have another land, we don’t have another community, we don’t have where to run to, we don’t have where to relocate to, this is where we know as our home, this is where we find ourselves and we will remain here. But we cannot continue year in year out like that. Other schools are functioning in Delta state , and the ones in our local government are shut down and the students from schools like this are going to write the same exams with those that are actually still functioning. So tomorrow when we see the grades not balancing, these are the reasons why and we cannot continue this way.”
“My heart is bleeding if I use the word. Going to the camp today, trying to drive through town, going by boat and seeing what our people are going through, am telling you its really sad, so If the government can come to rescues, first by sending us some reliefs, Nema and all the agencies that are supposed to be in charge, if they can come to our rescue we will be very grateful and If the federal government can find a lasting solution we will be very grateful. He concluded.
The Pere (king) had earlier in company of the Patani Local Government Chairman, gone round the town to ascertain the level of havoc caused by the flood.
The duo specifically visited the Internally Displaced Site opened by the Local Government Chairman, in one of the primary schools within the community where they consoled the displaced victims with words of encouragement.
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