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President Buhari mourns as 44 die, 500 houses destroyed in Katsina flood



President Muhammadu Buhari , on Monday , expressed his sadness and concern about the devastation caused by floods in his home state , Katsina , and other parts of the country .In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity , Garba Shehu , the President pledged the Federal Government ’ s support for the victims of the disaster .

Buhari said he had been saddened to observe the devastation and loss of lives caused by the floods in Katsina State and other parts of the federation .

He said he had accordingly directed the National Emergency Management Agency to do everything that would bring succour to the victims wherever they were .

“ As rescue and prevention efforts continue , let me express the sincere condolences of my family , the government and people of Nigeria to all the victims of the destruction by the floods .

“ Let me assure you that we stand ready to provide , within available resources , every assistance that is needed to bring comfort to those in distress , ” the President said .

Governor Aminu Masari on Monday evening confirmed that 44 lives were lost while 20 people were missing in the overnight rainstorm that ravaged Katsina State border town of Jibia .

The rainstorm reportedly started about 11 pm on Sunday and it lasted over two hours .

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The governor , who made the disclosure at a press conference in Katsina, said he had never seen such a disaster in his life .

He said , “ You need to go there , it was a real disaster . As of the time we left Jibia , no less than 44 people were confirmed dead while over 500 houses were completely damaged .

“ I have informed the President about the incident and he has called to sympathise with the people .

“ As a government , we shall find permanent solutions to the problem .

“ We know Jibia is a flood – prone area and we build drainage . But what happened was that instead of water to flow to the river through the drainage , water from the river was flowing back into the drainage , thereby causing the flooding during the rainstorm.

“ We are going to redirect the water flow and I have passed out necessary instructions .

“ We have also taken measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims .

“ The National Emergency Management Agency has also been duly informed and they are sending relief materials to the victims . ”

The Executive Secretary , Katsina State Emergency Management Agency , Dr Aminu Waziri , had earlier said , “ What we are doing presently is to find temporary accommodation for those whose houses have been washed away or damaged . We must provide them where they can put their heads for heaven may open up again. ”

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“ Sympathisers from our neighbouring country , Niger, helped us fished out two bodies from their river. ”

Sources said that the rainstorm also damaged farms, while over 260 livestock including cattle , sheep and goats were killed .

The sources said areas that were badly affected included Tundun Takari , Dan Tudu , Unguwar kwakwa and Unguwar Mai Kwari .