Governor Samuel Ortom has denied reports that he requested a return of confiscated weapons.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said the major cause of flooding in the state is River Benue, which he noted is overdue for dredging.

He made this assertion yesterday at Government House, Makurdi, during an advocacy visit on him by the Disaster Risk Reduction team of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, led by its Director, Vincent Owan.

The governor urged the federal government to fulfil its promise to dredge River Benue to enable it accommodate water from other channels when it rains, stressing that the river would also retain enough water during dry season for irrigation purposes.

According to the governor, if dredged, the River would also boost economic activities and contribute greatly to food security in the state and country at large.

He commended NEMA for prompt responses to disaster management in the state and country at large, even as he also commended the agency for equitable distribution of fertiliser. He appealed for the release of the remaining consignment, saying the commodity is key to food production.

Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, NEMA, Mr. Vincent Owan, said 102 local government areas in 28 states in Nigeria fall within highly probable risk areas while 275 local government areas in 36 states, including FCT, fall within moderately probable flood risk areas.

He stated that according to predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, highly probable flood risk areas in Benue include Makurdi, Guma, Logo, Gwer West, Ado, Kwande and Vandeikya local government areas.

Owan appealed to the State Government to take necessary mitigating measures in addressing the impending flooding, such as awareness creation, desilting of river channels and canals and prepositioning of relief materials for prompt response after the flood.

The team also acknowledged the quick response of the state emergencies through the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, even as it presented a plaque to the governor as an honour in that regard.

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