The East-West Road connecting Port Harcourt, Rivers, and Yenagoa in Bayelsa is reportedly underwater, but the Nigerian Navy claims to be providing security and ferrying trapped commuters across it.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, Sub-Lieutenant Tochukwu Okeke, the Base Information Officer of the Central Naval Command’s Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) SOROH, made the following statement.
He claimed that between Yenagoa and Port Harcourt, the navy had been transporting people and cargo out of areas that had been inundated. Medical professionals had also been sent out to help those in need.
According to the base spokeswoman, Commodore Sunday Daniel-Atakpa, Commander of NNS SOROH, was in charge of organizing the operation.
They were ordered by the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, and following the Chief of the Naval Staff’s strategic decision to deploy personnel and resources to minimize this burden.
In essence, we have been offering ferries along flooded sections of the route from Bayelsa to Port Harcourt and from Port Harcourt to Bayelsa. We have also been offering medical insurance to people, he continued.
He claimed that during the about one-week-long navy operation, vulnerable individuals were given priority, including the sick, the elderly, nursing mothers, and their infants, who were transported to safer areas.
However, Okeke claimed that since the start of the naval missions, no casualties had been reported.
The criminal activity of hoodlums who exploit the circumstance to rob tourists of their valuables and demand money from tipper drivers along the route has been reduced, he added.
According to NAN, the flood cut off the East-West Road, which links the South-Western region of the country with states in the South-East and South-South.
The navy’s participation will aid travelers who have been trying for three weeks to get through the flooded areas and continue to Yenagoa, Ahoada, Omoku, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Uyo, Calabar, and other places.
While doing so, tipper truck drivers are doing brisk business moving people and goods like food, beverages, and livestock across the flooded areas.
The Navy’s action, according to commuter Mrs. Rita Ayaku, has lessened the hardships endured by flood victims.