Victims of herdsmen’s attack staying at the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, got a lifeline recently.
Mr. Festus Mbisiogu, chief executive officer of Blue Diamond Logistics, China, and his delegation made the victims happy by donating relief materials to them.
The delegation, comprising the management of Shanghai Engineering Works and Industries Limited, a subsidiary of Blue Diamond Logistics, China, and Uzotex Foundation, was received at Government House, Makurdi, by Governor Samuel Ortom.
The relief materials included food and other items worth over N10 million and two generators, as well as two boreholes. Items like rice, tomatoes, detergent, noodles, beans, bedsheets, clothing and drugsm among others, were given to the IDPs to alleviate their suffering.
Ortom, members of Benue State Executive Council and other top government functionaries were on hand to welcome the delegation.
The governor thanked Mbisiogu for his kind gesture, saying it would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the victims.
He commended Mbisiogu for drilling boreholes for the people of Gbajimba and Logo, and described the Blue Diamond boss as a dear friend not only to him but to the entire people of Benue State.
Ortom said: “Don’t mind his simplicity, unlike most well-to-do Nigerians who wear costly materials, golden wristwatches and necklaces to show that they are wealthy, Mbisiogu is humble, God-fearing and patriotic. He derives joy in using his God-given resources to better the lives of the less privileged.”
He explained that Mbisiogu has businesses in places like China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the United States.
Ortom said he ran into the Nigerian businessman in Guangzhou Province, China, when he (Ortom) was the national auditor of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), adding that they have been friends since then.
He told the delegation that Mbisiogu facilitated arrangements between the state government and a Chinese firm for the establishment of a sugar factory in Benue State.
“The land has been acquired and we are ready for the take-off of the sugar factory,” he said.
The governor stressed that there was no going back on the anti-grazing law passed recently by the state House of Assembly. He insisted that open grazing would not be tolerated in Benue State and advised herdsmen to embrace ranching.
In his presentation, Mbisiogu said the delegation was in Benue to reach out to the victims of recent herdsmen’s attack and also to sympathize with the families of the victims and people of the state over the crisis that engulfed the state.
He said he was moved like other well-meaning Nigerians to alleviate the pains of the victims, especially those in the IDP camps and bereaved families, even though no amount of help could compensate for the loss of human lives.
In his words, the gesture from Uzotex Foundation was to assist the state government.
He said the foundation was a charity-driven vehicle that he has been using in Nigeria and across the globe in promoting community development through self-sponsored community borehole projects, scholarships and human capacity development programmes, as well as other contributions such as entrepreneurial mentorship for Nigerians within and outside the country.
“What we are doing here today is not a publicity stunt,” he said.
The philanthropist said the foundation had drilled boreholes and dcarried out other humanitarian activities in 20 communities in Ideato South LGA of Imo State.
“Our coming to Benue was significant because the governor is a good friend and a kind-hearted man who has the best interest of Benue and her people at heart. We have come to commiserate with the people of Benue and to urge the governor not to relent in his effort to continually bring the best to the state,” he said.
Mbisiogu praised President Muhammadu Buhari for setting up a reconciliation committee on the crisis and called on the federal government to fulfil its promise of restoring peace in the troubled areas of the country. He urged the federal government to pay compensation to all the victims, saying this would help in healing their wounds. He also called on the people of state to continue to support Ortom.
At the launching of the borehole at Gbajimba, the governor, represented by Anthony Shawon, chairman, Guma Local Government Area, commended Mbisiogu for putting to an end to the water challenge of the people in the area. He praised the donor for locating the borehole at Guma Police Divisional Headquarters, near the IDP camp in Gbajimba.
Head of Benue State Emergency Management Authority (BSEMA), Mr. Emma Shior, also praised the donor for complimenting the efforts of the state government in providing basic amenities such as potable water. The Divisional Police Officer, Audu G. Ibrahim equally promised to ensure security for the facility.
In his response, Mbisiogu said he would be happy if the borehole is continually running so that women and children would stop trekking long distances to fetch water.