Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nigerian Government Offers Haiti Support

Nigerian Government Offers Haiti Support

Sun Jan, 17 2010

Nigeria has expressed its readiness to support the on-going global effort to provide rescue and relief assistance to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, PANA reported from here, quoting local Thisday newspaper of Saturday.

A massive earthquake devastated the entire Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, early this week in which thousands of Haitians and other nationals, including United Nations officials lost their lives.

An estimated 50,000 people have been killed with many buildings crushed to rubbles.

Nigeria already has 121 officers and men of its police force, currently serving in Haiti as part of a United Nations Formed Police Unit.

Nigeria's Minister of Environment, John Odey, in a statement, lamented the monumental damage to lives and property caused by the quake, saying the situation in Haiti deserves urgent intervention by the international community to save the citizens from further trauma.

Odey said the extent of the damage and loss resulting from the earthquake deserves international sympathy and action to assist the affected citizens to overcome the trauma and pains.

"The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with other relief agencies will work towards providing assistance to affected citizens in Haiti to enable them over come this traumatic period," he said.

The minister said Nigerians received the news of the devastating earthquake in Haiti with so much pain.

According to him, the threat posed by earthquake globally has further reinforced the need for all nations to cooperate on issues relating to the preservation and sustenance of our environment.

"The environment is a common legacy which must be jointly protected in order to improve on the quality of life and avoid untold consequences to humanity," Odey said.

Meanwhile, Nigeria's Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo, said in Abuja that all the country's contingent to Haiti are safe, sound and in good health Onovo said he received a formal letter from the United Nations Security Agency, stating that entire 121-strong Nigerian police contingent was safe, 'and in fact, is part of the rescue team helping victims of the earthquake in Haiti.'

The IGP, who said this through the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Yemi Ajayi, a Chief Superintendent of Police at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, assured families of the police contingent that they are safe and sound.

"At the moment, communication equipment in the earthquake ravaged part of the co untry is not functional to enable the families of the Nigerian police contingent communicate with their husbands to know the true position of their health," Onovo said.

Meanwhile, the US military Friday commenced massive distribution of first aid in an effort to help the quake-ravaged country.

Aid groups have had trouble distributing aid because of blocked roads and other logistical obstacles.

Hard-pressed government workers were burying thousands of bodies in mass graves.

The Red Cross estimated 45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's cataclysmic earthquake.

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