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Benue groups lament FG’s lack of support for 280,000 IDPs


Leaders of some ethnic groups in Benue State have decried Federal Government’s indifference and lack of support for over 280,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to herdsmen attacks in the state.

In a statement yesterday, the Mdzough U Tiv, Ochetoha K’Idoma and Omi Ny’ Igede lamented that despite the sufferings and anguish the victims went through in the last 11 months, the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) failed to support the IDPs.

Speaking during a visit to the Daudu IDPs camp in Guma Local Government Area to donate relief materials to the IDPs, they noted that NEMA only visited the state once in January since the crisis broke out.

President of Mdzough U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege, said the leaders appeal to the Federal Government to fulfill its pledge of rebuilding destroyed homes and communities to ease the victims’ return to their homes.

“We commend efforts of the military’s Operation Whirl Stroke to restore peace in the state, but more needs to be done.

“Federal Government’s promise to rebuild destroyed communities and people’s homes is yet to be fulfilled, and that is why the people are still trapped in the camps because they have no homes to return to,” he stated.

Also speaking, National President of Ochetoha K’Idoma, Chief Amali Amali, noted that the people were determined to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the state’s open grazing prohibition law and urged any group doing business in the state to respect the law.

“It is only by so doing that we will enjoy the benefits of the law, and there would be peaceful co-existence among the people,” Amali said.

Receiving the items on behalf of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), camp coordinator, Angela Omirigbe, assured that the items would be judiciously distributed among the IDPs.

Omirigbe appealed to public-spirited individuals and organisations to extend more support to the displaced persons whose figure recently increased from 24,000 to over 40,000 following the closure and relocation of some camps in other communities.

Responding, Chairman of the camp, Philip Umase, who commended the leadership of the groups for remembering them in their time of need, lamented that they were tired of staying in the camp and appealed to the Federal Government to fulfill its pledge of rebuilding their homes to enable them return to their communities.

Items donated to the camp were bags of rice, Semolina, cartons of groundnut oil, Maggi and soap.

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