• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Over 2m IDPs, 10,000 Cameroonian refugees in Benue dangerous – Ortom

Court throws out Ortom’s suit against successor, Alia

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State says the presence of over 2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 10,000 refugees from Cameroon in Benue is exposing the state to security threats and danger.

The governor, who maintained that it was not an easy task for the state to manage the refugees and IDPs, urged the federal ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development to intervene to cushion the burden.

Playing host to an inter-agency technical committee delegation from the federal ministry at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, the governor pointed out that Benue remains an endangered state because of refugees and IDPs.

According to him, since 2017, the state has continued to witness influx of IDPs in the various official and unofficial camps. He said over 2 million profiled IDPs and over 10,000 Cameroonian refugees were taking refuge in Benue as a result of a crisis in Southern Cameroon.

“We have taken it as a responsibility of the government to provide minimum comfort for the Cameroonian refugees. The state government has continued to prevail on the host communities to allow the refugees to settle down”.

The governor further disclosed that over 134,000 persons have been displaced from their homes as a result of the recent flooding that caused havoc in some parts of the state, saying due to early sensitisation, there were fewer casualties.

Read also: Schools in Nigeria under water as flood ravages communities

While appreciating the support of the ministry in the past, Ortom urged the committee to carry out their assessment of the humanitarian situation on ground with diligence.

The governor charged the committee to adequately report to the ministry the situation on ground, so that help could be provided, adding that the state government would continue to do its best in handling the challenges to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.

Earlier, leader of the ministerial team, Murdakai Titus, from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFRMI), appreciated the governor for the cooperation accorded the team.

He acknowledged the kind disposition of the governor in receiving the asylum seekers/refugees in the state as well as his commitment in providing the enabling environment for their wellbeing and protection.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria is mindful of challenges and tensions always associated with hosting asylum seekers and refugees globally especially in the immediate host communities and Nigeria’s experience is not different particularly in Benue State.

According to Titus, the multi-sectoral team’s mission is to carry out an assessment of the possible humanitarian situations caused by the influx of refugees from Cameroon into Nigeria through the national border corridors, including Benue State.