• Monday, December 04, 2023
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Benue IDPs: Senate calls for urgent release of N10b resettlement fund


The Senate has called for an urgent redemption of the ten billion naira promised to the people of Benue State to rebuild their destroyed communities, which have been sacked and displaced by bandits masquerading as herders in the last seven years.

This is even as the Senate resolved to request the Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Chief of Defence Staff to immediately facilitate and supervise the quick return of all displaced persons to their ancestral homes and provide a sustainable security corridor to all flash points within the affected communities.

The resolution was sequel to a motion titled “Urgent Need to Resettle the Displaced People of Gwer-West, Makurdi and Guma Local Governments to their ancestral habitat and to avert imminent humanitarian crisis in Benue State and sponsored by Senator Titus Zam Tartenger (APC, Benue North West) which was seconded by Senator Peter Nwebonyi (APC, Ebonyi North) during plenary on Thursday.

Senator Zam in his debate, informed that due to the deplorable and excruciating conditions at Naka, Agagbe, Abagena North Bank, Daudu, Umenger, and Gbajimgba of Gwer-west, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas, the farmers of Gwer-west, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State, the continued stay of the people at the camps potentially expose them to humanitarian crisis of outbreak of diseases and other health challenges.

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“Statistics from Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BENSEMA) indicated that as at September, 2022, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State had totaled 1, 597,000 persons and catering for this huge population is beyond the financial strength of Benue State Government.

“Between January and October 2022, 560 (Five Hundred and Sixty) Children living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps scattered in Gwer-West, Makurdi, Guma and other parts of Benue State were reported by Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BENSEMA) to be malnourished.

“The immediate past Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, paid a sympathy visit to Benue State in 2018 as elections were approaching. During the visit, the Vice President promised the people of Benue State the sum of N10,000,000,000.00 (Ten Billion Naira) for the resettlement of the displaced people. A promise that was unfortunately kept in breach,” he narrated.

The Senate also directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to provide medical, food and other relief materials to the displaced persons. It urged the Federal Government to redeem the N10,, (Ten Billion Naira) promise made to the people of Benue State to rebuild the destroyed communities.