Buhari Should Include These Things in His 90-Day Flood Plan – Zikoko

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget Nigeria still has a president running things in Abuja. You’d be forgiven for thinking the country is on autopilot because the number one citizen is often missing in the face of major issues that affect Nigerians.
Sure, you’ll find Buhari where they’re giving national awards to undeserving public officials or amnesty to thieving former governors or vacationing in London. 
But you’d never catch the president taking as much interest in critical issues like fuel scarcity or the flooding crisis that has claimed over 600 lives in Nigeria in 2022.
On October 24, 2022, the president finally decided to take a more active interest in the flooding crisis when he ordered a committee to develop a comprehensive plan of action for preventing flood disasters in Nigeria. We’re assuming he tried to ban the floods first but moved on to the next ridiculous solution when that didn’t work.
Predictably, Buhari’s 90-day timeline for a plan has caused a stir online because it’s not addressing the present crisis. Do you know what can happen in 90 days? The United Kingdom can have three prime ministers, Asake can release seven studio albums, and you can find your soulmate in America if you’re a contestant on 90 Day Fiancé.
A match co-produced by sapa and japa
Since we can’t do anything to make Buhari’s timeline shorter, we have some suggestions for what the committee should include in the 90-day plan.
You’re more likely to find Buhari at a political event than at the scene of a disaster where the president can show empathy for the affected citizens. 
“Can’t I just send a tweet instead?”
Like many other disasters that have happened under his administration, Buhari has kept from visiting displaced flood victims because it’d ruin his manicure or put the hem of his garment in danger of touching the water.
When the committee presents the 90-day plan to him in 2023, there must be an entire section dedicated to “How to be a leader that cares” just for Buhari. They can make it a cartoon if that helps him understand better.
ALSO READ: How Nigeria’s Flooding Crisis Can Go from Bad to Worse
The federal government has caught the most flak for the ongoing flood crisis, but there should be some whipping reserved for state governors too. 
Nigeria actually has what’s called a “triple response structure” for disasters like flooding. The response starts from the local government to the state before it lands on the federal government when it becomes a national-level emergency. All three levels of government are allocated funds every month for ecology and disaster management.
This means local and state governments should’ve responded better to the disaster before it became as bad as it has in the past couple of months. Instead, governors are carrying their begging bowls to the federal government and private citizens to do their jobs for them. State governors need to be more useful and that should be put on record in Buhari’s plan.
We don’t want them reacting like this:
Thousands of Kogi State residents have been displaced by floods, but you wouldn't know that from looking at Governor Yahaya Bello's social media activity. pic.twitter.com/9D7AVIKx5K
While millions of Nigerians were reeling from the devastation the floods have caused in their lives, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, was on television trying to explain what caused the crisis. In his losing battle to absolve the government of blame for not preparing well enough, he said the floods were caused by “water that we’re blessed with from the sky”. 
Here's what our Minister of Water Resources Engr Suleiman Adamu said when asked what caused the flooding in Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/rXq2ya2lTG
It’s hard to imagine millions of Nigerians currently consider it a blessing, so maybe he should’ve just called it “rain” like every other person not turned on by public embarrassment.
The plan should include a section on government officials learning to speak like human beings in times like this. But we’re not holding our breath here because the same minister is coordinating this plan Buhari wants to use to fix flooding in Nigeria forever.
The mathematics is simple — over 600 Nigerians wouldn’t be dead, and over 2.5 million wouldn’t be displaced if all levels of the Nigerian government did their jobs. Their failure to be more proactive in disaster management is the reason millions of Nigerians are suffering.
It’d be nice if the committee can find a section in their plan to note that the government sucks and should be doing better.
But while they put this plan together, the more pressing issue the government should address is how to help the victims right now and not in 90 days.
ALSO READ: How to Protect Your Health in a Flooding Crisis, According to WHO
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