By Peter Duru
Makurdi—Benue State government, yesterday appealed to the federal government to fulfill its promise of constructing resettlement homes for displaced victims of herdsmen attacks in parts of the state to enable the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state to return to their ancestral home.
The Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Emmanuel Shio, made the appeal while flagging off another round of distribution of food and other items to IDPs camps in Logo, Makurdi, Guma, Gwer West and Kwande local government areas of the state.
Shio who lamented the continued stay of IDPs in camps across the state said, “It is a major concern for the state government and SEMA that the IDPs are still in camps. We are appealing to the federal government to honour its promise to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by herdsmen in Benue communities because without rebuilding it these people will have nowhere to go to.
“Although Governor Samuel Ortom has continued to dialogue with the federal government and he has continued to appeal to the President to intensify efforts towards addressing the challenge of insurgency and insecurity particularly in the rural areas. That is another major reason some IDPs are still in the camps. Some places are still not safe; there are still pockets of attacks. So even when some of these IDPs try to go back to check if their places are safe so as to go back, they meet attacks and then run back to the camps again.
“I have cried out about this so many times whenever I have the opportunity to do so. We are all witnesses to the fact that the President through his Vice, Prof. Yomi Osinbajo came to Benue and promised the construction of resettlement homes in Guma, Logo, Agatu and Makurdi which were badly affected by herdsmen incursions. He also talked about the sum of N10billion that would be provided for that purpose but up till now we have not seen any of that and the burden of catering for the IDPs is quite huge and overwhelming.”