The government of Benue State has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to pay attention to the state’s humanitarian crisis, as he has done in the North East, in order to end the sufferings and further loss of life in the state.
Dr. Emmanuel Shior, Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, made the appeal yesterday while flagging off the monthly distribution of food and essential items to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state, urging the President to use the remaining months of his administration to help those in need in the state.
Shior, who lamented the overwhelming burden the state government was shouldering by catering for the needs of the IDPs, said: “it is unthinkable to have IDPs in camp for over five years, and you are left with the responsibility of catering for them.”
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While lamenting that the Federal Government had abdicated its responsibilities to distressed Nigerians, the Executive Secretary blamed the federal government for the inability of the displaced persons to return to their ancestral homes.
“We urged the President to please pay equal attention to the humanitarian crisis in Benue as being done in the North East. The situation in Benue is dire and it is our earnest desire to have Presidebt Buhari come in to assist us becaue the burden is overwhelming for the state.
“This will help him write his name in gold. He is a father and we will not be tired of crying to him until he gives us listening ears because he has abandoned the IDPs in Benue. We hope that our continued cry to him will eventually get his attention to come and do something here before he leaves office especially as we are entering the election period.”
Dr. Shior, who raised concern over the increasing number of displaced persons in the state disclosed that 600 households were recently sacked from their ancestral homes in Logo and Gwer West LGAs by armed herders in fresh attacks stressing that the state was planning an expansion of the IDPs camps to solve the problem of infrastructural deficits with the figure of the IDPs rising to over two million.
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He said: “Because of the huge population of IDPs, it is not easy for the state government to cater for the IDPs alone. We have shared the concern that the Federal Government has neglected the humanitarian crisis in Benue which also has another leg which is crisis of infrastructure.
“The attackers have not only attacked the farming communities and killed and maimed and displaced people, they have destroyed farmlands, homes, schools, bridges, churches and others.”