From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Bothered by the deplorable plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Benue State, a United Kingdom (UK) based Benue indigene, John Igoche, has donated a borehole as well as food and non-food items to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Ichwa Primary School, along the UniAgric Road, Makurdi, the State capital.
Igoche, who gave the donation through his foundation, the Acorn Initiative, said he was moved to get involved in helping IDPs after he lost his close friend, his friend’s father and some relatives to Herdsmen attack in Agatu some years back.
‘Three years ago, I lost a friend to the Agatu Fulani crisis. My friend also lost his dad as well and some family members. I had to trace the people to an IDP where I saw a lot of people in a very pitiable condition. That was why I took it upon myself to talk to my colleagues to assist me so that I can support these people,’ he said.
Igoche, who recently led members of his team to the abode of the displaced persons in Makurdi, said he was shocked over the deplorable state of the facility where the IDPs were taking refuge and decided to facilitate the construction of a motorised borehole and toilet facilities to address their water and sanitation needs.
On her part, the Country Director of the Foundation, Jennifer Omale, took time to teach the IDPs on how to make liquid soap, saying the skill would make them self-reliant.
One of the IDPs, a 60-year-old grandmother, Mama Monica Ako, disclosed that they have been at the facility for the past six years after herdsmen attacked their ancestral homes.
‘I’ve been living here with my family for six after been displaced from my village in Guma Local Government by armed herdsmen. Things have been excruciatingly difficult, but as you can see I am very excited now because of what ACORN Initiative has done,’ she said.
She commended the ACORN Initiative for coming to their aid even as she promised that the facilities would be put to judicious use.
Elizabeth Gesa, a mother of four who has lived in the camp for the past three years, could not hold back tears after she saw the kind gesture of ACORN Initiative.
‘It gives me joy when people of goodwill who don’t even know us reach out to us with their hard-earned resources. ACORN Initiative has done what no other has done. They knew exactly what our needs were and came to our aid when we needed them most.’