By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Indications have emerged that more residents have been displaced in communities located in Makurdi and Guma Local Government Area of Benue state following recent herdsmen attacks on selected villages in the state.
Among the areas affected in the attacks that claimed several lives were Yelewata, Yogbo, Orogbo and Mban communities where several persons were also reportedly displaced by the armed marauders thereby worsening the humanitarian crisis in the state.
According to a government sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, “aside the communities in Yelewata, Yogbo and Orogbo, communities behind NASME Barracks in Makurdi recently came under attack living scores killed and injured, forcing many of the locals to flee their communities for valuable IDPs camps.
“Many of the victims moved into the Tse Yandev Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Makurdi while some also fled to the Tse Uikpam camp in Guma,” he said.
When Vanguard Tuesday visited the Tse Yandev unofficial IDPs camp located on Makurdi-Uniagric Road, the Chairman, Mr. Gabriel Yev disclosed that the camp which is not recognized by the state government had witnessed sudden surged in the number of inmates some of who he said fled from neigbouring Nasarawa and Taraba states.
“Our figure in the camp had reached 10,102 inmates and recently the figure increased to 10,407, made up of 3,457 male and 6,645 female and the number of households have also increased from 5,249 to 5,384 after the recent attacks by armed herdsmen.
“We have been having our challenges because the IDPs situation in Benue has grown beyond what the state government can cope with so we are pleading with the federal government to come to our aid and help us.”
The Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior had not long ago cried out over the worsening humanitarian crisis in the state.
Dr. Shior who lamented that the federal government appeared to be playing politics with the IDPs situation in the state, maintained that the humanitarian crisis in the state was worse than the situation in the North East “especially in the challenge of food, shelter, WASH and medical care.
“Regrettably Benue state government, with well over 1.5million IDPs, is shouldering these responsibilities which is not fair because the challenge is too huge to leave on the shoulders of a state government alone.
“The IDPs challenge in Benue is not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis that effects the development of the people. Humanitarian refers to human beings but it is a challenge of development because the infrastructure in most parts of the attacked and sacked communities were also destroyed.”