By Peter Duru, Makurdi
THE Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, yesterday, disclosed that there are 27 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps in the state that are home to close to two million IDPs. Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr. Emmanuel Shior, who made the disclosure in Makurdi while flagging off the months’ distribution of relief materials to the IDPs, explained that the camps comprised seven official and 20 unofficial camps scattered across the state.
Dr. Shior stated that the monthly food distribution exercise was delayed due to logistical challenges, assuring that the state government, though overstretch by the magnitude of the humanitarian challenge in the state, would continue to provide for the IDPs. He said SEMA ensures that the truck load of food items which included rice, noddles, beans, cooking oil and other consumables always gets to the destination they were meant and not diverted assuring that the Governor Samuel Ortom-led administration would not abandoned the people in their time of need.
He said: “Some believe that when we load relief materials from our central warehouse here in Makurdi, we do not take them to the camps; they claim that what we are doing is a sham. But I believe that the media cannot be part of any sham and that is why Governor Ortom has always insisted that we always ensure that the media is present during our distribution process for the purpose of transparency and accountability and we have not deviated from that.”
The Executive Secretary who lamented the worsening humanitarian crisis in the state occasioned by the frequent attacks and displacement in several communities of the state, disclosed that the agency had received reports that eight communities in Kwande Local Government Area, LGA, of the state had been attacked and occupied by Fulani herdsmen who displaced the locals.
“We have received the report of the invasion of communities in Kwande LGA and we have visited that area but we are going back to do a needs assessment because we are recording increase in the number of displaced persons due to the continuous attacks,” he said.