Senate urges FG to redeem N10bn IDPs resettlement pledge


By Aluta News

Oct. 5, 2023

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to redeem the N10 billion promise made to the people of Benue to rebuild the destroyed communities.

Senate resolution was sequel to adoption of a motion at plenary on Thursday on need to restle displaced people of Gwer -West , Markurdi and Guma local government to their ancestral home and avert imminent humanitarian crisis in the state.

The motion was sponsored by Sen.Zam Tartenger(APC- Benue).

Tartenger in his lead debate recalled that  farmers of Gwer-west, Malardi and Guma Local Government area of Benue state have been sacked and displaced by bandits masquerading as herders in the last seven years .

This, he said had resulted in the people taken abode at camps under deplorable and excruciating conditions at Naka, Agagbe, Ahagena North Bank, Daud, Umanger, and Ghajingba in Gwer-west, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas respectively.

He said that the continued stay of the people at the camps potentially exposes them to humanitarian crisis, outbreak of diseases and other health challenges .

According to him, statistics from the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BENSEMA) indicated that as at September 2022, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Benue State stood at 1, 597,000 persons.

He expressed worry that catering for the huge population was beyond the financial strength of state government.

He further expressed worry that, between January and October, 2022, 560 children living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) camps scattered in Gwer-West, Makurdi, Guma and other parts of Benue as reported by BENSEMA were malnourished.

He said that the immediate past Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo who had paid a sympathy visit to Benue in 2015 promised the people the sum of N10 billion for resettlement of the displaced people.

According to him, the promise has unfortunately be kept in breach.

Senate further in its resolution urged Chief of Defence Staff to immediately facilitate and supervise the quick return of all displaced persons to their ancestral homes and provide a sustainable security corridor to all flash points within the affected communities.

It also directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to provide medical,Food and other relief materials to the displaced persons.

NAN reports that in 2018, the federal government approved a rehabilitation fund of N10bn for victims of killer herdsmen attacks in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, as part of efforts to resettle thousands IDPs.

Former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this known during a visit to IDP camps in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

He told over 34,000 IDPs who are taking refuge at the Abagana camp that the government is doing everything possible to ensure they are immediately resettled in their ancestral homes.

Osinbajo who also promised to supervise the rehabilitation process, announced a three-point solution of providing adequate security for the communities, rebuilding destroyed homes and restoring farmlands currently being occupied by invading herdsmen to enable food production.


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