From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Wednesday distributed food items to 15 official and unofficial Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state.
The food items included 4,800 bags of rice, 3,000 cartons of noodles, 205 gallons of palm oil, 300 bags of salt, beans, and other condiments.
Speaking to newsmen at the SEMA headquarters in Makurdi, the Executive Secretary, Emmanuel Shior, said the agency was carrying out the massive distribution of food items to over 15 official and unofficial camps in Guma, Makurdi, Kwande, Logo, Agatu, and Otukpo Local Government Areas.
‘We are giving all the official and unofficial camps food items in this round of distribution. The camps include Abagana, Daudu 1 & 3, Ukpiam, Gbajimba 1 & 2, Ortese, Udei, Naka, Aondona, Agagbe, and some in Kwande, Agatu and Otukpo.
Shior said the state government did not intend to continue keeping the IDPs in the camps but that security challenges that forced them out of their ancestral homes have still remained the same.
The SEMA boss who stressed the need for security to be beefed up at all the IDP camps in the state called on the federal government to take charge of securing the farming community in the state to enable IDPs to back home.
Shior who regretted the long stay of IDPs in camps maintained that it was unfortunate that the challenge of insecurities that has kept them in the camps was yet to be addressed four years after.
‘This challenge of security is not what Benue State Government alone can address. We need to work with the federal government but the federal government needs to be in charge to secure the farming communities and pave way for their return to their homes,’ he said.
While also commending the Church of Christ of the Latter Day Saints for their donation, Shior said the state government would join what they had brought with what it had for onward distribution to all the camps.