About two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are presently in 27 camps in Benue State, the Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Emmanuel Shior has said.
The SEMA Executive Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Shior, while flagging-off the months’ distribution of relief materials to the IDPs in Makurdi, explained that the camps were made up of seven official and 20 unofficial camps scattered across the State.
According to Shior, the monthly food distribution exercise was delayed due to logistical challenges, saying that the State government, though overstretched by the magnitude of the humanitarian challenge in the State, would continue to provide for the IDPs.
The Executive Secretary stated that SEMA would ensure that the truck-load of food items that included rice, noddles, beans, cooking oil and other consumables always got to the destination they were meant for, stressing that the Governor Samuel Ortom-led administration would not abandon the people in their time of need.
According to him, “Some believe that when we load relief materials from our central warehouse here in Makurdi, we do not take them to the camps.
“They claim that what we are doing is a sham. But I believe that the media cannot be part of any sham and that is why Governor Ortom has always insisted that we always ensure that the media is present during our distribution process for the purpose of transparency and accountability and we have not deviated from that.”
He lamented the worsening humanitarian crisis in the State occasioned by the frequent attacks and displacement in several communities of the State, assuring that the agency had received reports that eight communities in Kwande Local Government Area of the State had been attacked and occupied by Fulani herdsmen who displaced the locals.
The Executive Secretary stated that SEMA had received the report of the invasion of communities in Kwande LGA and had visited that area, adding that they were going back to do a needs assessment because they were recording increase in the number of displaced persons, due to the continuous attacks.