Nigeria: RSM statement on the recent floods

REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST MOVEMENT (RSM) 

25th October 2023

PRESS RELEASE

WE CALL FOR COMPENSATION AND RELIEF MATERIALS TO ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY THE RAVAGING FLOODS

TIME TO ORGANISE AND PLAN FOR ACTION TO DEMAND PROPER INFRASTRUCTURE

CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE CLIMATE CRISIS NOW 

Revolutionary Socialist Movement (RSM), condemns the lukewarm attitude of the Federal Government to the floods in Nigeria. The recent floods have been a shocking experience for big parts of the country. 

We call on the state to intervene with immediate effect and restore normality in the affected areas. We demand shelter and food to be given to everyone in need. We call for the government to grand the necessary relief funds in order to allow working class people to stand back on their feet. Measures to stop such catastrophes happening all over again must be taken. 

Ravaging floods have become an annual tragedy and this year they have been the worst in a decade. According to the information currently available, over 600 people have been killed and more than a million have been displaced. Many working-class people have been stranded following several days of downpours in Kogi State and across others states in Nigeria. A lot of families have been affected, many have become homeless and those displaced have been living in bad conditions. Agriculture has been badly hit because many hectares of farmland have been submerged and this will radically reduce production and pose the danger of hunger and famine for mass layers of the population. Moreover, the waters have been contaminated and there are fears of cholera outbreaks.   

According to reports, 31 out of 36 states were affected by the heavy downpour. 

In Lokoja, Kogi State, hundreds of motorists were stranded for days as a result of the floods. The major roads that link Abuja to the southern part of the country were also affected. In fact, this caused a fuel scarcity crisis in Abuja and its environs. 

Presently, this crisis has spilled over to the people of Azikoro town and residents of Aeroplane Road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The flood affected the major cemetery leading to the gory sight of corpses floating in the streets. 

There are other reports that the floods were made worse by the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon. The FG denies this. We demand that this issue should be addressed with immediate effect by the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities. 

The RSM extends condolences to those who lost their loved ones at this incident and the thousands affected by the flood. 

RSM believes that the collective resources of Nigeria, if democratically managed and controlled by the working people, can be put to use in order to prevent future catastrophes.

We should organize the struggle to address the climate crisis, that fuels extreme weather events. We should force governments to take decisive action to stop emissions and make a turn to real renewable energy sources.

We should demand proper infrastructure projects to address recurring floods: 

-we need more rain gauges to be able to make accurate predictions (Nigeria currently has 87 existing rain gauges. It needs an additional 970 for proper coverage)

-we need adequate and well-sustained drainage systems and dams where necessary

-we need worked-out plans and infrastructures for people to be informed and ready to act in the event of mass flooding

-we need spatial planning to avoid settlements being built in flooding-prone areas

But no capitalist government will take such measures. The Nigerian ruling class is busy trying to top-up its profits and doesn’t really care for the people. Workers and youths need to get organised and build their own political movement that can serve as an alternative to the present rotten regime, which makes living miserable for us. 

Salako Kayode

RSM

Pulicity Secretary 

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