Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Government has warned of impending food crisis if the issue of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps across the state is not quickly addressed.
Executive Secretary, State Emergency management Agency (SEMA), Emmanuel Shior who gave the warning at the weekend said most of the IDPs are farmers who have been driven out of their ancestral lands by herdsmen attacks for over two years now.
“The Fulani are the reason why the IDPs are in camps and till date, there are still pockets of attacks around Torkula and Idyer in Guma, Moor in Kwande, as well as some communities in Agatu and Logo.”
Shior who disclosed that the state has over 500,000 IDPs in eight designated camps across the state however noted that Governor Ortom had put in place the IDPs disengagement plans to ensure the safe return of the IDPs to their homes.
“We have spent billions of naira in taking care of the IDPs since 2018. We have eight official camps housing over 500,000 IDPs in those camps.”
While explaining that with the high number of IDPs in the state, it would be difficult to just close down the camps, the ES called on the federal government, international donor partners as well as well meaning individuals and corporate organizations to come to the aid of the state in that regard.
“We have over 500,000 IDPs as at today. So, it’s difficult for the state to just close the camps now. That’s why we are calling on the FG, security agencies as well as international partners to assist the IDPs return to their homes.
“Also we are appealing to the federal government to release the N10billion that was promised the state for the resettlement of the IDPs”, Shior said.