The Sponsor of the motion informed that among the IDPs camped across the state, over five hundred children are malnourished.
The Senate has called for the immediate redemption of the Ten Billion Naira promised to the people of Benue State to rebuild communities ravaged by herdsmen over the years.
It also directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to provide medical, food, and other relief materials to the displaced persons.
The call follows the adoption of a motion on the “Urgent Need to Resettle the Displaced People of Gwer-West, Makurdi, and Guma Local Governments to their ancestral habitat and to avert imminent humanitarian crisis in Benue State.”
Sponsor, Senator Titus Zam Tartenger (APC, Benue North West) at Thursday’s plenary, noted that due to the deplorable and excruciating conditions at Naka, Agagbe, Abagena North Bank, Daudu, Umenger, and Gbajimgba of Gwer-west, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas, the farmers of Gwer-west, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State have been sacked and displaced by bandits masquerading as herders in the last 7 years.
Rep. Tartenger said that the continued stay of the people at the camps potentially exposed them to the humanitarian crisis of outbreak of diseases and other health challenges.
“Statistics from Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BENSEMA) indicated that as of September 2022, the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State had totaled 1, 597,000 persons and catering for this huge population is beyond the financial strength of Benue State Government.”
He noted that “between January and October 2022, 560 (Five Hundred and Sixty) Children living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps scattered in Gwer-West, Makurdi, Guma and other parts of Benue State were reported by Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BENSEMA) to be malnourished.
The lawmaker recalled that former Vice President Yemi Osibajo had pledged the sum of 10 billion for the resettlement of displaced persons.
“The immediate past Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo paid a sympathy visit to Benue State in 2018 as elections were approaching, During the visit, the Vice President promised the people of Benue State the sum of N10, 000, 000, 000.00 (Ten Billion Naira) for the resettlement of the displaced people. A promise that was unfortunately kept in breach.”
Consequently, the Senate resolved to request the Federal Government to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Chief of Defence Staff to immediately facilitate and supervise the quick return of all displaced persons to their ancestral homes and as well, provide a sustainable security corridor to all flash points within the affected communities.
It further directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to provide medical, food, and other relief materials to the displaced persons; and urged the Federal Government to redeem the N10, 000.000.000.00 (Ten Billion Naira) promise made to the people of Benue State to rebuild the destroyed communities.