Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) yesterday said the inability of the federal government to keep to its promise of resettling the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is hampering their return home.
Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo had visited Benue state May 15, 2018, to access the condition of the state following incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen.
During the visit, he said the federal government would build some units of houses in Guma, Agatu and Logo local government areas to resettle the IDPs.
But seven months after the visit, Executive Secretary of the Benue SEMA, Emmanuel Shior yesterday in an interview with newsmen in Makurdi, disclosed that nothing has been done by the federal
government for the IDPs, majority of whom are still living in the camps.
Shior said the Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, after Vice President Osinbanjo visit even took the DG of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) who visited in connection with the
resettlement project to Gbajimba and donated a large parcel of land for the purpose.
He said though the commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General Adeyemi Yekini had approached the governor to close down camps for the IDPs to return home, stakeholders kicked against the suggestion since there were still some humanitarian issues that needed
to be tackled before the IDPs could return home.
According to him, stakeholders during the state Security Council meeting argued that the camp could not just be closed down because there was perceived security presence in the affected communities.
“Most of the IDPs in the camps don’t have homes; their homes, farms and other property were destroyed. So, if you close a camp because you think there is relative peace, where will the IDPs return to? We must address those challenges before closing down the camps,’’ he said.