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Displaced persons lament planned withdrawal of police from camps

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Benue State

Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) in eight camps in Benue State have expressed fear over their safety.

This followed the plans by police authorities to withdraw their men who have been providing security in the various camps.

Governor Samuel Ortom had disclosed the planned withdrawal to newsmen in Makurdi on Wednesday.

He said he “received information that policemen in the IDPs camps were withdrawn on the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and I have no control over them.”

The governor promised to visit the camps to inform the people, so that they could seek alternative places of abode.

He disclosed that he would utilize the N200million that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike pledged, in addition to whatever is available at the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to distribute resources to the IDPs.

When The Guardian visited three of the eight camps in Makurdi and Guma yesterday, the displaced persons expressed fear over the plans.

Though some policemen were sighted in Abagana, Makurdi, RCM primary school and Humanitarian Refugees camps, all in Daudu, the people expressed worry about their safety when they are withdrawn.

Chairman of the IDPs at Abegana camp, Philip Usatse, confirmed report of the intended withdrawal.

At the humanitarian refugee camp, one of the displaced persons, Mrs. Dooshima Joel, said: “We can not go back to our communities because the Fulani herdsmen are still there.”

The camp commandant at the Daudu camps, Omirigbe Angela, also expressed apprehension.

Efforts to get the reaction of the spokesman of the police state command, Moses Yamu, failed, as his lines did not go through at the time of filing this report.

In Zamfara State, attacks by bandits have continued, leading to an increase in the number of internally displaced persons in Maradun Local Council Area of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that victims from different villages in the local council have continuously been moving to Maradun town.

It was leant that five IDPs camps have been established, while registration is ongoing at all the centres.

Addressing newsmen at one of centres, the councilor representing Maradun ward, Sirajo Madugu, said the bandits had sacked communities from about 50 villages.

Madugu said many people have fled their villages due to the attacks, while others bolted for fear of imminent attack.

He said: “We cannot ascertain the number of displaced persons yet, because it is increasing everyday the day.”

Chairman of the council, Yahaya Shehu, urged the displaced persons to report any suspected person among them, to prevent informers from infiltrating the camps.

He said necessary requirements of the IDPs would be provided, with the assistance of the state government.


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