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Ortom urges philanthropists to support IDPs


•94% malaria cases in Africa, 951 deaths in Borno
•Ndume seeks open trial of suspected terrorism sponsors

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has cried out to donor agencies, philanthropists and humanitarian organisations to support the over one million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state due to sustained herdsmen attacks.

Ortom, while addressing the IDPs at Uikpam, Guma Local Council, yesterday, in celebration of his 60th birthday with them, maintained that the state’s resources had been over-stretched in catering for the needs of the IDPs.

Accompanied by his wife, Dr. Eunice Ortom, the governor restated the resolve of his administration not to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.


Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Emmanuel Shior, confirmed that earlier statistics showed Benue had over 800,000 IDPs with some in camps and others living with their relatives, noting that the Uikpam camp had 27,000 IDPs.

MEANWHILE, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has said the continent accounted for 215.26 million (94 per cent) malaria cases with 409,000 global deaths in 2019.

According to her, this is despite the great progress made in malaria response in African countries.

Moeti raised the alarm at the weekend in Maiduguri to mark the World Malaria Day themed ‘Zero Malaria: Draw the Line against it’.

Cape Verde has reportedly maintained zero malaria status since 2018, while Algeria was certified malaria free in 2019.

In Nigeria, Borno State recorded 1,071,902 cases with 951 deaths between 2017 and 2020. The cases peaked last year with 370 deaths.

The Chief of Staff to Governor Babagana Zulu, who doubles as Overseeing Commissioner of Health, Prof. Isa Marte, disclosed this yesterday in Maiduguri while marking the 2021 World Malaria Day.

FORMER Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, has charged the Presidency to conduct open trial for some 400 Bureau De Change (BDC) operators arrested last month for allegedly sponsoring terrorism.

In an interview with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, Ndume urged the Presidency name all the BDC operators so far arrested and carry out their trial in public.

His words: “If any of them is innocent, he should be allowed to go, while those found guilty must be made to face the music.

“The Presidency said recently that Nigerians would be shocked if it revealed the identities of those who are sponsoring the Boko Haram insurgents. Can you imagine that 400 BDC operators are the people funding Boko Haram? When the BDC operators are arrested now, what will the government do with them? The presidency is already saying their case is confidential. What is confidential about it?”

He urged the Federal Government not to protect anybody who has participated in criminal activities, pointing out: “When I was wrongly accused, I was tried publicly and I was vindicated. The trial lasted six years in an open court. If there is any criminal act linked to anybody, no matter how highly placed, let the evidence be placed before the public; there should be no secret trial.”


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