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Stakeholders urge FG to rebuild communities ravaged by herdsmen


Displaced people gather to collect water in a camp for displaced populations near Diffa. PHOTO: ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

Displaced people gather to collect water in a camp for displaced populations near Diffa. PHOTO: ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

Critical stakeholders in Benue State have called on the Federal Government to urgently embark on the rebuilding of all the communities affected by herdsmen attack so as to make the people live their normal lives again.

The stakeholders made up of traditional rulers, Joint Task Force (JTF) members, women leaders and peace committee members made the call at a one-day workshop organised by a non-governmental organisation, BENGONET, in collaboration with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on improved capacity of border community gate keepers, local authorities and community-based organisations held Thursday at Hotel Lucia, Makurdi.

Declaring the workshop open, the chairman of BENGONET, Mrs. Rachel Ityonzughul stressed the need to always foster peace in our communities through frequent meetings with our neighbors to mend fences.

Itonzughul further urged the people to always be on alert and report suspicions to appropriate authorities, even as she stressed the need for them to build synergy among themselves.

In his remark at the workshop, the District Head of Tombe in Logo local government area, HRH Tyoor Enoch Ikyumen urged the federal government to assist in the rebuilding of the affected communities in the state, saying their children no longer have the opportunity of going to school.

Ikyumen who lamented over the high level of destructions caused by the herdsmen in the state, further called on government as well as organisations to provide the people with inputs for enhanced food production in the state.

On her part, a woman leader in Tarkaa, Mrs. Kpadoo Chi, who said she lost her husband in one of the recent herdsmen attacks in the area said that many people in the area are suffering untold hardship due to the invasion.

She appealed to the government to assist them with farming inputs, building materials and other relief materials to enable them move back to their communities successfully.

In a paper presented by the chairman, Justice and Right Initiative, Justin Gbagir titled, “Overview of border security” he said that thousands of people were yet to recover and move back to their respective communities since the invasion.

Gbagir, who noted that the crisis has increased social problems in the Benue communities such as cases of under age marriage, child abuse, and out of school syndrome blamed the federal government for not doing the needful on the crisis.

He stressed that the country needed to improve its border management system for improved security of her citizenry. “This requires a sophisticated border management system that balances the need for securing the nation’s borders with facilitating the essential free flow of legitimate commerce, citizens, and authorised visitors.

“The current entry processing procedures for both people and cargo are complex, and involve numerous steps each of which presents both an opportunity for interference or for interception.

The participants at the one-day workshop were drawn from the affected local government areas of Agatu, Logo, Tarku, Buruku, Kwande, Katsina- Ala, and Gwer West, among other participants.

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