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Benue urges FG to redeem N10b reconstruction pledge, youths seek better roads

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[FILES] Samuel Ortom. Photo: IREPORTERS

The Federal Government has been urged to redeem it’s over the two-year-old pledge of N10 billion to rebuild states hit by herders’ attacks for seamless resettlement of displaced persons.

Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Emmanuel Shior, who made the appeal at the weekend in Makurdi, said the call followed the impending food shortage and humanitarian challenge staring at the over 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the face statewide.

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Shior explained that it would be unwise for the state government to shut its eight refugee camps in the face of attacks on local farmers.

His Words: “The Benue State Government, through SEMA, is drawing the attention of the international community and the Federal Government to the impending food crisis and other challenges accompanying the continued stay of IDPs in the camps.

“You cannot continue to keep a population of over 500,000 in the camps for more than two years, and the majority of these people are farmers. It’s unfortunate that we don’t see the Federal Government talking about this challenge. It is a challenge that cannot be left to the state government alone.

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“The IDPs are still in the camps because of insecurity arising from the attacks. There are still pockets of herdsmen attacks in many communities. They have attacked people at Tse-Torkula ward and Iordye village, both in Guma local government. They also attacked the Agatu people along the river bank and Obi local government where, at least, 13 people were killed.”

“We are still witnessing attacks in Kwande Local Council, especially at Moon district, where about 8, 000 people have fled, and are taking refuge in Jato-Aka,” he added.

Shior said Benue was also grappling with hundreds of Camerounian refugees currently taking shelter in Kwande local council of the state.

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He clarified that no IDP had been infected by the novel coronavirus.

In the interim, youths in the state have demanded quick rehabilitation of federal roads to check further deaths.

In a statement by Shima Atokaa, spokesman of Concerned Tiv Youths in Nigeria, Abel Magaji of Idoma Youths Forum and Comrade Ogwuche Imoha of Igede Youths Forum, the young Nigerians lamented that the deplorable highways “have become daily death traps, as they expose commuters to security risk in the hands of bandits.”

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