Benue flood: SEMA boss denies diversion of relief materials
Mr Boniface Ortese, Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BSEMA), has denied allegations that relief materials for victims of the recent flood in the state had been diverted.
Ortese told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Makurdi that the allegations were “false, malicious and calculated at tarnishing the image of the state”.
He described those peddling such rumours as “enemies of the state”, who were bent on tarnishing its good image and rubbishing the efforts of the government and that of donor agencies in mitigating the effects of the disaster.
He said, “all relief materials for the state are kept in our central store; nothing has been diverted.
“The central store is open for inspection; you can go there and see things for yourself.”
He, however, advised those using the cyber space to discredit the good works of the government to desist from it.
Ortese said that even the opposition party in the state, the PDP, has commended our efforts in managing relief materials, saying “they commended us for bringing the whole country to Benue over this flood.”
NAN recalls that relief materials were donated to the state since the flood disaster was first reported by the state government.
Some of the organisations that have responded to the needs of the IDPs are; NEMA, MIVA rice, Nasarawa state government, the APC, the Presidency, Nigerian Air Force, UNICEF among others.
The IDP camp commander of the Makurdi International market camp, James Iorhuna, disclosed that 4,775 households had been registered in the camp.
“We have so far registered 1,387 male children, 1,349 female children, 531 men, 642 women, 585 children under the age of five, 92 pregnant women, 115 nursing mothers and 74 physically challenged persons”.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had donated 400 mattresses to BSEMA among many other relief items for the IDPs.
Investigations by NAN showed that mattresses were given to couples with children and the elderly at the camp.
A cross section of the IDPs appealed to the government and donor agencies to donate more bedding to the camp while also appealing for permanent solution to the perennial flooding in the state.