Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Participants at a two-day symposium on the humanitarian crisis in Benue State have observed with concern the capacity of the state government to provide the necessary infrastructure for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.
The symposium, which took place at the weekend in Makurdi, the state capital, was organised by the Benue State government in collaboration with Yavnielle Konzult. It drew participants from the academia, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), civil rights activists, students bodies, community leaders, the organised private sector and the public.
Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Emmanuel Shior, read the communique issued at the end of the symposia to journalists.
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According to the communiqué, the 483, 699 IDPs in the state are “over-stretched with the debilitating conditions of the IDPs worsening on daily basis.”
The communiqué also called on the Federal government to establish the North Central Commission to ensure sustainability of government efforts as well as assist IDPs to return to their ancestral homes.
It also called on the Federal government to assist the Benue State government with special intervention funds to manage the crisis as a short term major.
Furthermore, the communiqué called on government at all levels to adopt conflict-prevention and intervention measures in the future to avoid the colossal waste of human lives and destruction of property and investments associated with social conflicts.