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Floods: Group Indicts Nigerian Government Over Loss of Lives, Properties, Wants Guilty Officials Sanctioned

flood
December 7, 2022

The group said government officials whose actions and inactions are directly or indirectly responsible for the death of innocent Nigerians during the flooding should be held liable and accountable.

A civil society group, Social Action has indicted the Nigerian government over the recent wanton loss of lives and destruction of farmlands and critical infrastructure by floods in many parts of the country.

The group said government officials whose actions and inactions are directly or indirectly responsible for the death of innocent Nigerians during the flooding should be held liable and accountable.

This was disclosed in a communique issued at the end of the Nigeria Social Action Conference 2022 with the theme, "Addressing Loss and Damage From Floods and Drought in Nigeria," held on Monday in Abuja.

Social Action maintained that the protection of lives and property is the primary responsibility of any government, which it said the Nigerian government failed to do so.

It noted that the focus of the government has always been on palliative measures and not on providing long-term solutions. The communique called on the government at all levels to rise to the challenge of climate change and global warming.

The communique read in part, "Chapter II, Section 14 (2) (b) states that the Security and Welfare of the People shall be the primary purpose of Government. This is the responsibility of everyone in Government.

“The government places the above obligation on everyone in Government. To this end, the avoidable loss of lives and property and the destruction of farmland among others is an indictment on those in Government at all levels.”

The Conference recommended that the right to life and the value of human life are sacrosanct and as such must be the primary consideration of the government when addressing climate change and the associated environmental challenges. 

The conference also resolved that civil society must engage in advocacy to ensure that the government at all levels becomes more proactive in ensuring that we take climate change seriously in Nigeria.

It recommended that the financial and governance frameworks for addressing loss and damage should be adequate at national and global levels.

“All Parties and Stakeholders must come up with practical and sustainable strategies and means of funding and responding to loss and damage,” it said.

“That culprits who are responsible for loss and damage in Climate Change must be liable and accountable. To the end, through the agreement from COP 27 on including Loss and Damage in the resolution, we must become creative and think out of the box; e.g Strategic litigation. That Civil Society must form a Broad Alliance in Nigeria, Africa and globally to ensure that the needful is done.”

The Acting Executive Director of Social Action, Atsekurubu Mercy Anino said the essence of the event was to proffer ideas and options to guide state actors in the policy-making process and to build a platform of collaboration and collective action between state and non-state actors. 

"This year’s flooding of most parts of the country is a case in point. In the attendant crisis, it is estimated that over 1.3 million Nigerians across the states of the federation were displaced," she said.