2023 and Revisiting the Politics of Donations to Flood Victims

By Idris Umar Feta

Not long ago, parties’ presidential aspirants were in a frantic race of visiting communities affected by floods and equally making donations whether in cash or in kind so as to alleviate the sufferings of the victims.

The politicians are really clever people as they can go to any length and strategically employ any method capable of increasing their chances of achieving their ambition. This donation, is really part of the plan.

To that effect, the presidential candidates of All Progressive Congress, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, have traversed some affected states and made donations.

For example, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, about three months ago, had donated the sum of N100 million to flood victims in Kano State. Mr. Tinubu announced the donation during a dinner organized in his honor by the Kano business community council when he visited the state.

He also visited Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State at his Abuja private residence to discuss modalities on his planned visit to flood sites in the governor’s state.

The APC presidential standard-bearer continued making his donations to the flood victims across the country by donating N50 million each to Niger and Jigawa states.

Also, Atiku Abubakar of PDP donated N50 million to victims of flood at Kantin-Kwari market in Kano, a gesture which he equally extended to Bayelsa state as well.

On his part, Peter Obi, also made his donations by giving out the sum of N5 million and food items to some State Governors.

Mrs. Remi Tinubu was also not left behind in the race as she led the women wing of the APC campaign team and donated the sum of 50 million naira to flood victims in Bayelsa state who are now sheltered in various Internally Displaced Persons camps within the state capital, Yenagoa.

Yobe is another state that benefited from the APC women wing’s donations to flood victims, as it received N20 million, foods stuff and clothes from the political group.

Despite the measures put in place to curtail the problem, it was feared that due to the devastating floods, houses and farmlands have been submerged in about 31 states of the federation with Jigawa, Bauchi, Kogi and Bayelsa among the worst hit.

This natural disaster seems to have happened at a time when Nigeria is preparing for the 2023 general election, leaving many fearing that the huge losses still being incurred may likely affect next year’s election. Elections are around the corner, the natural disaster may pose a serious challenge to INEC’s resolve to conduct elections in flood affected areas.

Though the Chairman of Independent National Election Commission (INEC) Mahmood Yakubu, recently at a meeting with stakeholders, had promised that the commission is ready to conduct elections, but unexpectedly, the flood disaster crept in on some parts of the country, ravaging several states.

Meanwhile, pundits argued that the flood has thrown many people into poverty, offering politicians more clients for vote buying and stomach infrastructure. One way or the other, the politicians, especially the presidential aspirants, are using the flood to their advantage.

All in all, the government and other stakeholders should roll out plausible measures aimed at ending this perennial disaster that has been damaging properties of people and also claiming their lives.

To the victims, the government and other able individuals should provide them with relief materials and new shelter. This will surely go a long way in alleviating their plights.

The 2023 general elections will take place in the next two months. One just hopes that victims of flood disasters across the country would not have long settled for the presidential candidates who only reached out to them in return for their votes. Their votes should only be for an aspirant with the magic wand to address Nigeria’s lingering problems.