No fewer than 80, 450 children including those of school age and about 2, 442 pregnant women are now languishing in seven Internally Displaced Persons camps in Benue State, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Emmanuel Shior has said.
Mr. Shior disclosed this while speaking at the Abagena IDP camp located along Makurdi-Lafia road to intimate Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on the state of the camps in the state.
The SEMA helmsman also announced that a total of 2, 766 nursing mothers and over 1, 247 disabled persons were also going through severe hardships and appealed to the federal government to come to their aid through the provision of assorted relief materials to cushion the effect of their suffering IDPs.
He said a total of 175, 070 IDPs including the aged people as well as male and female children have not been spared and live in squalid environment, urging the government to expedite action for immediate return of the displaced back home to start farming activities.
Mr. Shior lamented that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has not given the state the required support through supply of relief items to help address the plight of the victims.
“NEMA came briefly but has not given us the support that we hope would come from them, other individuals have also supported the state government but looking at the huge humanitarian problem, the efforts of government and other individual and organisations are not enough”.
Governor Samuel Ortom said, the IDPs were really traumatised since the last four months that the camps were opened, adding that most of them have died while in camp due to hardship.
He also bemoaned the level of support given the state government by NEMA, adding that 69 IDPs have delivered babies while in the camp.
“You can really see from the faces of the IDPs here (at Abagena camp) that they are really traumatised for four months, you know, been in this kind of environment is not easy for any human being. We have lost some IDPs here but thank God we have about 69 of them that have delivered in this camp under this condition”.
Governor Ortom thanked the federal government for the deployment of additional security agencies to flash points to fight the mercenaries, and expressed optimism that the state will not witness killings again.
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