Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State government has called on the federal government to do all in its power to ensure the safe return of the over 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently taking refuge in different camps across the state to their ancestral homes.
The state government particularly demanded the federal government to provide adequate security in the hinterland as well as fulfil its promise to resettle the IDPs with the sum of N10 billion.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Animal Husbandry, Alhaji Shehu Tambaya made this call on Tuesday against the backdrop of the visit of the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was in Benue for the official hand over of the National Institute For Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) on Monday.
The Minister had told newsmen that Nigeria had made attempts to acquire better and more effective platforms to deal with terrorists and for one reason or the other, it had been denied.
Mohammed had explained further that without adequate platforms, the nation would continue to remain at the mercy of terrorists.
Tambaya noted that rather than give a frustrating report of how difficult it had been to get better and effective weapons to fight insurgency, terrorism and banditary in the country, the federal government should begin to make Nigerians see how the war is being won in their favour.
“Nigerians are tired of hearing tales of woe everytime. We need our villages to be secured enough for everyone to return to at anytime without fear of being killed by terrorists, bandits, herdsmen or insurgents.
“Time has come for us to begin to hear about and also see how we are truly winning the war against all these people. If we have to change the security apparatus of this country to achieve this, I think it’s not to much to do.”
He noted that the IDPs who form the larger population of the farming community across the country have continually been hounded into camps as a result of violent attacks against them by terrorists, insurgents, Herdsmen, bandits, and the rest of them.
The Governor’s aide opined that if not quickly nipped in the bud, the current situation portends grave danger to the food security of the nation as the farmers can no longer go to their farms with ease.
Tambaya who pointed out with sadness, the killing of 43 rice farmers by Boko Haram in Borno last Saturday recalled that the same fate befell Benue in 2018 when suspected Herdsmen killed 73 farmers in one day.
“We cannot continue like this if we must move forward as a country. Our security architecture needs to be stronger than what we are witnessing right now to be able to confront the retinue of insecurity challenges plaguing us in this country.”