From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has lamented that the state is currently housing close to a million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The governor, speaking at the Uikpam IDP Camp in Guma, where he had gone to celebrate his 60th birthday, noted that of the current 6.5 million population of the state, almost a million of that population are refugees.
He urged the IDPs not to despair or be pushed to the point of taking laws into their hands, but keep faith and be hopeful that justice would prevail.
Governor Ortom said even though attaining 60 years was remarkable, he could not imagine celebrating elaborately when there are over 27,000 refugees in the Uikpam camp and over 800,000 in the entire state.
‘We have a population of 6.5 million and close to 1 million as refugees. Therefore, I wish to call on humanitarian partners who have been doing well and charitable organisations to look at the plight of the refugees which is beyond the state.
The governor urged youths against attacking security personnel deployed to their domains:
‘I want to warn the youths not to attack security agents. Nobody should contemplate harming them because without them I am not safe, our fathers and mother are not safe, we are not safe as a people. They have chosen to sacrifice their lives without adequate personnel to ensure we are secured.
‘I urge the youths to brace up, be alert and report any suspicious elements to the security agencies,’ the governor advised.