Jane Otu, Calabar


DAILY COURIER – Authorities of the Bayelsa State command of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) have confirmed that its office headquarters, along the Bayelsa Palm area in Yenagoa, the State capital, was submerged and sixty-four of its personnel displaced by the recent flood disaster in the State.


The Comptroller of NIS in Bayelsa, Sunday James, who confirmed the development while taking newsmen around the office headquarters, however, said the command and all necessary documents were safe and office operations were not disturbed, as they relocated to the Okaka area for smooth operations of the command.


Comptroller James also pointed out that the 64 impacted personnel of the command have been taken care of by the command, saying that the national headquarters of the command has agreed to assist in embarking on the infrastructural upgrade of the office headquarters in the state.


“In spite of the flood, no personnel of the NIS stayed away from his or her duty post. All through the flood, every officer of the command was on ground as essential duty workers.”


Meanwhile, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Isa Jere Idris, has directed the Comptroller of Immigration Service, Bayelsa State, James Sunday, to visit the IDP camp and donate drinking water to the Internally Displaced Persons, for them to have clean drinking water, both adults and children.


The directive was carried out on Tuesday, at the OX-BOW LAKE IDP camp, where thousands of IDP families were camped by the Bayelsa State Government for temporary shelter.


According to the NIS, the gesture from the Comptroller General is a sign of goodwill from the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Isa Jere Idris, to the officers and men of the Bayelsa Command and also directed that the 64 personnel of the service affected by the flood be taken into consideration.


A team of experts are to visit Bayelsa Command from the service headquarters, Abuja, to assess the state of the flooded command, to enable the Comptroller General to take an informed decision after reporting back.


James Sunday, who expressed appreciation to the leadership of the service for directing at an appropriate time evacuation of all service movable assets and sensitive documents before the flood came into the command, said the action has saved the service from loss of assets and sensitive documents that are not recoverable if they were trapped, “the service is operating fully at a new location in the heart of Yenagoa, pending the receding of the flood and fumigation, to certify the environment healthy for habitation and work.”


He also warned officers and men of the service to avoid any attempt to be away from duty, AWOL or otherwise, which may lead to serious disciplinary action or dismissal, as work continues and supervisors will be held responsible for any staff absent during headcount scheduled for Friday.