By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
President Muhammadu Buhari has been commended by Cross River State governor Benedict Ayade for his efforts towards containing the challenge of erosion currently affecting communities across the state adding that Buhari has irrespective of party lines demonstrated that he is the President of Nigeria by sending a fact finding team to the state a few days after speaking with him.
The governor gave the commendation when a team from the Ecological Fund Office, EFO presented to him a report of their findings in his office in Calabar yesterday.
The team led by Engineer Funsho Adebiyi, a deputy director in the EFO, the Presidency Abuja toured the state, taking photographs of sites, communities and landmarks affected by erosion including interviewing several people.
The sites visited numbering over 15 include the channel system which runs through the Cross River University of Technology and Ikot Nkebre in Calabar, Aguagune in Biase, Ovonum in Obubra, Ofutop in Ikom, Mbok in Boki local government areas amongst others with challenges and recommendations included in the report.
Ayade in his remarks said Buhari sent the team in less than two days after speaking with him and expressed optimism that the presentation of the team will hasten the Presidency to come to the aid of the state.
“I pray that this team with all they have seen and their interviews with people who are directly affected can verify the pictures and letters I presented in Abuja to show they are real as well as the challenges been faced by the people affected. There is much more for you to see, as the rains come, Cross River State becomes completely an ecological disaster zone. There are people who sleep on the road because they cannot get to their communities. Some get drowned especially the kids”.
The governor who decried the low allocation coming in from the Federal Government which is barely enough to pay salaries stressed that urgency was needed as the problems are not only on the environment but also social.
“These problems are real, they have an organic incursion into the anthropology, sociology, orientation and training of our people and if this is not handled urgently, we are going to have a very big environmental cataclysm in our hands. Because of the challenges of the drainage system, the people inhale gases emitted from the sludge formed, anybody who inhales these chemicals, the capacity to resist diseases weakens, the life span shortened, their children’s capacity to write, read and retain memory begins to fail. You therefore create dysfunctional children in a youthful age”.
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