Nigeria Is Living in the Days of Noah, Again

October 3, 2022

This is Zikoko Citizen’s Game of Votes weekly dispatch that helps you dig into all the good, bad, and extremely bizarre stuff happening in Nigeria and why they’re important to you.

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Nigeria has a very short list of frequent natural disasters: Ponzi schemes, politicians and destructive annual floods.

Over the past week, thousands of people living in Kogi State became homeless after invasive floods visited them and decided to feel at home. Many of these victims have raised alarm about their fate, but this isn’t just a story about Kogi.

Flood in Nigeria

Source: Twitter/@AlejiOjay

This year, more than half a million Nigerians have suffered the same watery fate witnessed in Kogi this week. Between January and August alone, flood incidents in 33 states killed 372 people, according to statistics from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). And the sad thing is there’s nothing special about what’s happening because it repeats itself every year.

Heavy rainfalls cause much of these flood incidents but there’s a man-made aspect to it too. Every year, Cameroonian officials release excess water from Lagdo Dam. The excess water knows no boundaries and travels, without a visa, through the River Niger and Benue to wreak havoc in Nigeria. This happens every year, yet the government hardly ever prepares for it other than to raise alarm.

Flood in Nigeria

In fact, Kogi’s Commissioner for Environment, Victor Omofaiye, was upset that the victims ignored NEMA’s warnings to move to higher ground, even though there’s little evidence the government provided them with alternatives. The state government is now scrambling to provide relief for those affected by appealing to the Federal Government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Until that help comes, at least the affected residents can console themselves with these shamelessly-branded boats the Kogi State first lady, Rashida Yahaya Bello, donated before this week’s severe floods.

Flood in Nigeria

Source: Blueprint

What Else Happened This Week?

The Battle for Who’ll Inherit Buhari’s Mess Is Live!

Presidential candidates have been heavily flirting with Nigerians for the past couple of months but that’s just pre-marital sex in election campaign terms. It wasn’t until September 28, 2022 that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) blew the whistle for the official start of campaigns. 

This leaves the floor open for candidates to commence the battle for the unique honour of becoming the man or woman who inherits Buhari-shaped trials and tribulations from May 29, 2023.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, flagged off his campaign with the launch of a range of books that are about him. He also released a 15-minute video address promising to be Nigeria’s great unifier, never mind that he’s been struggling to unite his own party.

The candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, flagged off his campaign at a solidarity rally with his supporters in Jos, Plateau State. It was an auspicious day for him too because Bloomberg News released the result of a poll that showed him as the clear favourite to win next year’s election. It’s the third major poll he’s won in weeks, but February is still a long time away.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, launched his own campaign with a press statement after he flew to London and cancelled his scheduled campaign event. There has to be something about London that seduces Nigerian presidents and presidential hopefuls and we’d like to know so we can use it to keep them here.

Flood in Nigeria

On February 25, 2023, more than 90 million Nigerians will have the opportunity to pick the country’s next president from a pool of 17 men and one woman. The time to pay attention and choose your fighter starts now.

Have You Seen This Video?

Ehen, one more thing…

Nigeria’s national grid collapsed for the seventh time in 2022 this week and sent Nigerians back into familiar darkness. At what point are we taking it to Shiloh for deliverance?

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