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Why FG must return Benue IDPs to ancestral homes, by SEMA

By Joseph Wantu, Makurdi
16 September 2021   |   3:08 am
Benue State Government has again called on the Federal Government to return the millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes to avert recruitment

Benue IDPs

Distributes food items to camps

Benue State Government has again called on the Federal Government to return the millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes to avert recruitment of vulnerable inmates by terrorist groups.

Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Emmanuel Shior, raised the fears yesterday, while briefing newsmen in Makurdi, during the distribution of food items to eight IDP camps in the state.

Shior maintained that the humanitarian crisis caused by marauding herders to communities in the state was colossal and devastating while expressing disgust that the Federal Government had not extended its gesture in the North East to Benue.

He alleged that some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were rather playing politics with the issue.

“The IDPs have been with us for the past three years and there is a need to return them to their communities. But some people, for parochial reasons, are accusing Governor Samuel Ortom of masterminding the killings, which is not true. We don’t play politics with lives.

“A group of APC members is the ones peddling this false news. They are using this gimmick to cover their failures at the national level. They are acting on the premise that Ortom is PDP and they are APC. But the governor is responsive and cannot afford to forcefully return IDPs to their ancestral homes without adequate security,” he said.

The humanitarian crisis in the camps, Shior added, is a big burden on the state, which reportedly spends hundreds of millions of naira monthly to procure food and other needs.

According to the SEMA boss, based on the governor’s directive, the activities of the agency would continue to be transparent.

The Guardian gathered that food items distributed to the various camps included bags of rice, beans as well as noodles.

On why Tse-Yandev camp has no SEMA staff managing it, Shior said, even as the camp was being managed by volunteer groups, SEMA was intervening from time to time.