The Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Mr Aondona Dajoh has said that plans are underway to relocate internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes.
Dajoh made the disclosure on Friday when he inspected the headquarters and warehouse of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in Makurdi, the state capital.
The Speaker, however, said the relocation may not be possible during the rainy season because government needed 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?
- Activists seek prosecution of culprits who burnt woman alive
- Expect more measures against insecurity, poverty – Shettima
“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 said.
He appealed to displaced persons in the state to exercise patience, assuring them that help was on the way.
Dajoh said 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, which mandate is to assist Benue people in their worst moments, particularly during disasters, had been reduced to nothing.
“During the recent crisis in Ikpayongo, Gwer East Local Government, I called the acting executive secretary of the SEMA 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, which is supposed to be an emergency unit that will respond to issues day and night, has nothing in the store,’’ he said.
He promised to bring it to the attention of the governor for urgent intervention.
Iorpuu, in his remarks, commended the Speaker for embarking on the fact- finding visit capable of alleviating the sufferings of the IDPs.
He told the Speaker that according to the data he inherited, there were over 2.1million IDPs in the state but he was working to authenticate the actual data of IDPs in Benue. (NAN)