Benue First Lady and her team taking healthcare services to Benue IDPs

By Peter Duru – Makurdi

In response to the cry of its over 1.5million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, the wife of the Benue State Governor, Dr. Eunice Ortom, has extended her hand of fellowship to the various camps in the state with a view to rendering critically needed medical services to the vulnerable persons.

The intervention tagged “Camp-2-Camp Medical Outreach for IDPs”, is being handled by the Benue State Emergency Management Agency and implemented by the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF, in partnership with the Governor’s Wife’s Office in Benue State.

Team Leader of the outreach, Mrs. Lizzy Aganyi said that the first phase of the intervention took care of five IDPs camps and host communities located in Gbajimba, Uikpam and Daudu lll communities all in Guma Local Government Area, LGA, as well as Abagena in the outskirts of Makurdi LGA and Obagaji in Agatu LGA.

Arewa Voice gathered that the beneficiaries were sacked from their ancestral homes by herdsmen who also razed their sources of livelihood, social amenities including schools, churches, hospitals and markets.

They now live in camps on public support from the government, public spirited individuals and corporate organisations.

According to the organizers, nearly 7,000 IDPs received treatment for all kinds of ailments while some had surgeries and many referred for more treatment in one of the biggest coordinated medical interventions initiated for IDPs in the state.

Some of the beneficiaries including Doom Akawa, opined that the outreach was timely as many lives were saved through it.

Flagging off the outreach earlier in Gbajimba, Governor Samuel Ortom, represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joseph Ngbea, reaffirmed the determination of the government to ensure that the IDPs were given necessary attention and support in every way possible.

Founder of the ESLF, Dr. Eunice Ortom appealed to wealthy Nigerians to remember those in dire need of assistance by sharing and showing them love saying that the state government was desirous of uplifting the lives of the IDPs.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of Benue SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior commended Governor Samuel Ortom and his wife for their ceaseless commitment and care for the teeming IDPs, the less privileged, the vulnerable and people of concern in the state.

He lamented that the renewed herdsmen attacks in the state had left the state grappling with over 1.5million IDPs and appealed to the federal government and other humanitarian partners to come to the aid of the victims.

Speaking separately to Arewa Voice, Dr. Shior said “this medical outreach is one of its kind, our wish is to reach the over 1.5million IDPs we have in Benue and not leave anybody out; and as you can see, that population is huge.”

“I am not sure really of the figures of the IDPs in the North East, it may not be up to the statistics of the IDPs in Benue. That is why I have always maintained that the IDPs situation in Benue is similar to the teeming population of IDPs there, but it is not the same in terms of the magnitude of the plight and suffering; especially in the challenge of food, shelter, WASH and medical care that are not there for Benue victims.

“Regrettably Benue state government 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 became the infrastructure in most parts of the attacked and sacked communities were also destroyed.

“They destroyed schools, markets, houses, churches, hospitals and farms. So the food the state and federal government and individuals bring from time to time to support the IDPs is not enough. The enduring measure is to rebuild the destroyed homes and infrastructures, ensure security in the communities to enable the IDPs return to their ancestral homes.”

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