From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Over 5,000 yet to be profiled internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been discovered to be taking refuge at a suburb location in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
The IDPs are currently staying in makeshift structures at Tse -Yandev community close to the Federal Housing Estate, North Bank area of Makurdi.
When our Correspondent visited the camp on Tuesday, it was observed that the IDPs were staying in a very pitiable condition.
It was further observed that many of them are staying in shanties made of Palm tree branches while women used their wrappers as curtain even as they constructed local bathrooms made of Palm tree branches, and engage in open defecation since they lacked toilet facilities.
Some of the displaced persons who spoke said they ran away from their from their ancestral homes in different parts of Guma local government area to take refuge at Tse-Uandev since December last year.
One of them who gave her name as Theresa Samuel from Kaseyo council ward in Guma local government area, said she ran to the IDP camp after her village was attacked by Herdsmen in December 2020.
She however appealed to both the state and federal government as well as other spirited organizations to come to their aid.
On his part, Chairman of the camp, John Azenda said some of them were displaced since 2018 but that they had to move to the current location on December 10th, 2020 after they were evicted from a makeshift camp located near 72 Army Battalion in North Bank.
“The Makurdi local government area chairman, Tony Idyege told us that he wanted to build a market at our former location and he asked us to leave. He told us to move over to this place. I am from Uvir council ward in Guma local government area and have found it difficult to resettle as my village and even compound has remained completely deserted.
“We are over 847 households,1000 children, 10 elderly persons. We have not been given any relief material(s) by the State Emergency Relief Agency even during the last Christmas and New Year festivities. Some individuals came around and gave some materials.There is no water or any amenities here. But thank God we have not recorded any outbreak of illness or death,” John said.
When contacted, Executive Secretary State Emergency Relief Agency (SEMA), Emmanuel Shior said the State government was planning to collaborate with ActionAid Nigeria and Doctors Without Borders to provide shelter and water for the displaced persons at that camp.