Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA over the weekend commenced relocation of close to 20,000 Internally Displaced Person, IDPs, from unpalatable locations in Makurdi town, Daudu to Uikpam in Guma Local Government Area, LGA. It also called on the federal government to pay greater attention to the pitiable condition of IDPs in the state.
The relocation of the IDPs to a newly built camp in Uikpam Guma LGA is being carried out in collaboration with humanitarian partners, including Doctors Without Borders, Action Aid, International Committee for the Red Cross and Nigeria Red Cross.
Flagging off the relocation exercise, Executive Secretary of Benue SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior said Governor Samuel Ortom approved the new camp to provide a conducive environment for IDPs housed at the LGEA Primary School Daudu, Uikpam host community and those on University of Agriculture Road, Makurdi.
While lamenting the burden of catering for the IDPs in the state, Dr. Shior said “I don’t understand why the federal government has not paid enough attention here like the kind of attention that is being paid to the North East.”
He cautioned non-IDPs who disguise into IDPs camps to cause confusion, pleading with stakeholders to support SEMA to properly sensitize such people to desist from such acts.
The Manager Humanitarian and Residence, Action Aid, David Habba said his organisation constructed the shelter at the new camp because of its cordial working relationship with Dr. Shior led SEMA and sued for its sustenance.
On his part, Project Coordinator, Doctors Without Borders, Prosper Mdumuraro who promised to sustain the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, activities in the camp commended Dr. Shior for taking the issue of Persons of Concern with all sense of sincerity.
The Current Queen Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Benue State, Torkwase Wuapera said through her partnership with SEMA, her organisation had trained the IDPs on various skills including tailoring and baking.
Chairman of the new camp, Mr. Stephen Hembaor said some of the occupants who were displaced from Tse Daudu, Gowon, Tse Haaga, Tse Umande, Atongo, Angur and Amur could not return to their ancestral homes because armed herders had refused to vacate their communities.