Benue Gov’t to return over 2 million IDPs to ancestral communities
By Bridget Ikyado
Benue State Governor today Wednesday, 26th July 2023, said over 2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS), living in camps and host communities in the last six years as a result of the series of attacks by armed herdsmen in their villages. and communities will be returning to their ancestral homes.
According to Charity Agber
Benue SEMASEMA, the Governor said the immediate and long term arrangements to ensure their safe return to their ancestral homes by the State has began and Government will make sure that those communities are secured.
Addressing the IDPs when he led the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr. Matthias Schmale and other partners on a tour to IDP camps in Makurdi and Guma Local Government, the Governor described the situation in camps as devastating.
He reiterated his commitment to create a better society so that the Benue people will live a comfortable life and admonished them to remain resolute as nothing was going to hinder him from actualizing his aim in his administration to return them to their communities to continue with their normal life and farming activities.
Governor Hyacinth Alia said the visit with the UN delegation to IDP camps was to get first hand information about their living condition and assured them that with the presence of United Nations and other partners, his Administration will work closely with them to provide solution to their immediate challenges.
The Governor while reinstating his promise in returning the IDPs back to their ancestral homes, said that he will liaise with his colleagues especially those in the neighbouring States to chase out those perpetrating crime in the State.
Earlier, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr. Matthias Schmale sympathized with the Benue State Government and Persons of Concern and pledge his support for their resettlement as well as provide their immediate needs.
He described the humanitarian situation in Benue State as the worst humanitarian situation and assured them that the UN will offer support to Benue State Government to restore hope to IDPs and find a lasting solution so that the IDPs will return to their homes.
Some of the IDPs camps visited including Ichwa camp, Daudu 2 and 3 the Governor and the UN delegation received briefing from the IDPs chairmen who all expressed their joy for the visit, enumerating some of their challenges as; shelter, health, food and lack of toilet facilities and appealed for urgent assistance.
At the Ichwa, Daudu camp 1 and 2, the Governor and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria and other partners were conducted round the camps by the Acting Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency(BSEMA), Sir. James Anodoakaa Iorpuu while he assured the IDPs that the monthly food distribution will soon reach them within the week.