Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Senate President Bukola Saraki has assured Benue people that the Senate would not stop engaging security agencies to ensure adequate security in the state to enable the over 180,000 internally displaced persons currently occupying eight IDP camps return to their homes.
Saraki, who gave the assurance Sunday at the Abagana IDP Camp in Makurdi, maintained that whatever affects Benue State affects the North Central region and the country at large.
“That is why we have not stopped to engage the security agencies on how to provide security to Benue. We will not stop doing that until they will provide security for you in Benue State. Whoever we need to talk to, whoever we need to direct, we will not stop until we make them do what they are supposed to do,” Saraki said.
The Senate President who was in the state to celebrate the Children’s Day with the IDP children expressed the hope that whatever pain they were passing through would soon come to an end and they would return to their homes as soon as possible.
“Today marks the Children’s day. In the past, I celebrated in my office in Abuja with children but I chose to come to Benue today to celebrate with the children as part of the concern to know that Nigerians and the senate are here with the Benue children.
“For us, there is nothing more important in this country than your future, your state of mind and your wellbeing. You are rather the future of this country and it is our responsibility to make sure that future bright for all of you,” the Senate President declared.
While urging the people of the state not to give up or lose hope, Saraki said the Senate was already engaging the Presidency and all relevant authorities to provide adequate security to the state and other troubled states of the federation to ensure that displaced people return to their homes and resume their normal lives.
He gave the assurance that with the UBEC bill presently before the Senate and awaiting passage, Nigerian children would have access to education as well as good healthcare services which had already been provided for in the 2018 budget.
Earlier, Governor Samuel Ortom, while welcoming the Senate President and his entourage to the state, disclosed that 60 percent of the over 180,000 IDPs in the state were children, some whose parents have been killed by herdsmen.
He further reiterated his call on the need for the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore (MAKH) to be arrested, prosecuted and brought to justice.
“We have made our position known because we know our killers and we are looking forward that security agencies will arrest them. Our killers are MAKH. It has nothing to do with religion. We don’t want to say it is a fight between Fulani and Benue people. When we say it is jihad, it is because they (MAKH) said so without hiding it,” Governor Ortom said.