Benue mulls relocating IDPs to ancestral homes

The Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Aondona Dajoh on Friday said plans are underway to relocate the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to their ancestral homes.

Dajoh, when he inspected the headquarters and warehouse of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, in Makurdi, said that the relocation may not be possible during the rainy season because the Government needs to provide security, shelter and other amenities before relocating people.

“We are working on it and we are on the same page with the governor but if you ask the people to go back now, where will they stay.

“They need shelter, security and we are working towards that direction because you don’t need to just push people back to where they are not secure and they don’t have roofs over their heads”, he stated.

He appealed to the IDPs in the state to exercise patience assuring them that help was on the way.

Dajoh said that it became imperative for him to visit SEMA headquarters and warehouse following the disclosure of the acting Executive Secretary, James Iorpuu that there was nothing to feed the IDPs.

The speaker expressed concern that the agency whose mandate was to assist Benue people in their worst moments particularly during disasters has been reduced to nothing.

“During the recent crisis in Ikpayongo, Gwer East Local Government, I called the SEMA acting ES to arrange relief materials for the displaced persons but he said there was nothing in the warehouse and I am here to see things for myself.

“It is quite unfortunate that this place that is supposed to be an emergency unit that will respond to issues day and night has nothing in the store’’, he bemoaned.

He promised to bring it to the attention of the State Governor for urgent intervention.

Iorpuu commended the speaker for embarking on the fact finding visit capable of alleviating the sufferings of the IDPs.

He told the speaker that following the data he inherited, there were over 2.1 million IDPs in the state.

He, however, said that he was working to authenticate the actual data of IDPs in Benue.

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