By Peter Duru – Makurdi
The Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior weekend said with over 1.5million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in over eight camps and host communities, the state deserved more attention from the federal government.
Dr. Shior stated that the situation in the state was similar to what is happening in the North East and therefore equally deserve to be accorded serious attention.
The Executive Secretary who spoke in Makurdi said “by the current statistics, we have over 1.5million IDPs in about eight IDPs camps and several host communities in parts of the state.
“That is to tell you that the situation is quite monumental and overwhelming; and it is a huge drain on the resources of the government because the government expends much to provide both food and non food items for the IDPs.
“Though we get support from few international humanitarian organisations including the UNHCR and others, the government has to also provide shelter for the IDPs who needed to be availed sources of livelihood because they have stayed in the camps for so long.
“These people were sacked from their homes by armed herdsmen who destroyed their communities, farmlands and sources of livelihood living us with a huge humanitarian and developmental challenges in the affected communities.
“Regrettably, the federal government has not paid enough attention to the IDPs situation in the state even when it is obvious that the situation in the state is similar to what you have in the North East.
“Though occasionally we receive food items from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons but such interventions are not regular nor enough.
“We have complained and cried out severally to the federal government through its agencies for the need to have a far reaching intervention but to no avail. Benue state government has been left alone to cater for the wellbeing of the IDPs which obviously is overwhelming and constituting a huge drain on the resources of the government.
“We appeal to the federal government to accord adequate attention to the IDPs situation in Benue as being done in the North East because we are all Nigerians and deserve equal attention.”