Why NIMASA is Providing Relief Materials to Displaced Persons

The Management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been busy providing relief materials of diverse forms to internally displaced persons across 20 states in the six geo-political zones of the country.

Insiders say the agency is doing so in response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that has consistently encouraged interested philanthropists and non-governmental organisations to partner with government in order to adequately cater for the needs of citizens who are affected by one form of disaster or another.

Apparently impressed with what NIMASA is doing, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State is urging corporate organisations in Nigeria to emulate the maritime security agency by supporting and complementing government’s efforts towards alleviating the suffering of persons affected by the recent floods and other natural disasters across the country.

Governor El-Rufai was speaking while receiving relief materials from NIMASA Director General, Dakuku Peterside, at Government House, Kaduna, in continuation of the donation of relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governor who is locked in a seeming bitter political battle with Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor, said the donation came at the right time, noting that the plight of the IDPs has been challenging and of concern to the state and that the materials would be evenly distributed to the IDP camps across the state. The governor stated that the state government was doing its best to ensure the welfare and security of IDPs in the state.

“We note this NIMASA’s act of magnanimity. Kaduna State has a total number of over 11,000 internally displaced persons who are in different IDP camps spread all over the state and these materials came at the right time. There will be prudence, transparency and accountability in the management of the distribution of the donated items to the IDPs. This is a commendable act and we will continue to ensure the welfare and security of our people. And so, we call on other corporate institutions as well as individual philanthropists to emulate NIMASA,” the governor said.

Peterside on his part said that the internally displaced persons across Nigeria were of utmost concern to government because they constituted an integral part of the society and should be catered for.

Represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Bashir Jamoh, the NIMASA chief stated that the gesture was in continuation of the agency’s nationwide donation of diverse forms of relief materials to states affected by natural disasters, particularly the recent flood disaster that submerged some parts of the country, including Kaduna State.

While presenting the materials to the governor, the DG noted that the Agency would vigorously pursue the improvement of the welfare of Nigerians and the economy as a whole.

“NIMASA is here today in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility disposition. We are conscious of the situation of the internally displaced persons in the country, and so we are here with a message of hope. We are not here to lament, but to felicitate with you and at the same time encourage you to remain hopeful and steadfast in the face of this challenge. NIMASA, as a socially responsible institution, will continue to support efforts geared towards improving the lives of Nigerians to make them live meaningfully in our society,” the DG said.

El-Rufai had said on Monday that he has no apology over his comment last week that “godfather can be defeated” in Lagos State, pointing out that he is unfazed by the criticisms that have followed the comment.

The APC governor had at a forum organised by the Bridge Club prescribed steps to curbing godfatherism in politics, claiming that he had retired four political godfathers in Kaduna. He also suggested how to retire godfathers in Lagos politics.

This is generally viewed as an attack on Tinubu, who has been dominating Lagos politics since 1999. The attack however, followed a question by Muiz Banire, a Lagos politician believed to be feuding with Tinubu, fueled the conclusion that El-Rufai was targeting the former Lagos governor.

Tinubu is always tagged as the National Leader of the ruling APC, President Buhari’s party.

Speaking after meeting President Buhari at the State House on Monday, the defiant El-Rufai said he was unperturbed by the criticisms and has no apology for his views. ‘’We are in the same party. We get along very well as far as I am concerned. I don’t know if he is the godfather of Lagos’’, he said.

‘’What I know for sure is that we have retired godfathers in Kaduna and I have told those that asked the question that there are six million voters in Lagos. And only one million voted in the last elections. So, there are five million people you can bring to the electoral playground and you can defeat anyone if you work hard. But it’s hard work, it’s four years. That’s what I said. If anyone feels offended by it, that is his business, not my business.

‘’I have no apology. I don’t apologise for my views. I don’t need to explain anything to anyone. This is a democracy. There must be room for people to express their views’’, he added.

Meanwhile, materials donated by NIMASA ranged from mattresses, garri, school bags, salt, rice, fishing nets, blanket, tins of powdered milk, beverages, soap/ detergents, sugar, noodles, palm/vegetable oil, amongst others.

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