Number of IDPs In middle belt now over three million, group laments
The Middle-Belt Youth Forum has bemoaned the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the region, saying they were over three million.
The group, therefore, urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to confront the lingering crisis between herdsmen and farmers in the region, which they said has claimed thousands of lives and properties worth billions of naira destroyed.
Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, leader of the group, Brent Kame, said insecurity has been devastating the region.
He said that relentless attacks by bandits and some herdsmen driven by their malicious intentions have caused widespread suffering in the region.
According to him, the Middle Belt has witnessed mass killings, wanton destruction of farms and homes and a pervasive lack of peace and order.
“The total number of IDPs in the Middle Belt is more than three million. Although some state governments had tried in getting palliative for some of them, we want our people to go back to their homes. We are calling on the government to do the needful in this regard,” he stated.
He said state governments in the region had attempted various measures to combat the terror unleashed by the marauding herdsmen on the citizens to no avail.
“Their efforts have been met with staunch resistance from the terrorists themselves. Determined to displace people from their homes and seize their lands, these terrorists have vowed to oppose any government or group that seeks to neutralise their movements,” Kame stated.
He urged the current administration to resolutely confront the evil perpetrated by herdsmen, adding that Nigeria cannot and must not be handed over to terrorists.
On the last presidential election and the petitions at the Presidential Election Tribunal, the group urged the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to make election materials available for the Labour Party (LP), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in court challenging the result it declared.
On the fuel subsidy removal, Kame said while he does not condemn the move outright, he strongly opposes its timing for several reasons.
“The removal of fuel subsidy without a corresponding increase in wages and adequate measures to alleviate the burden on citizens is deeply distressing.
“As a means of resolving this issue, we urge the government to reconsider the complete removal of fuel subsidy and instead focus on establishing at least one refinery before implementing such a measure,” he added.