Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Tuesday advised the Federal Government to take seriously the alarm raised by the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum on the recruitment of more fighters by the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Ortom made this statement while receiving a delegation from the Victim Support Fund (VSF), led by its Chairperson, Mrs Toyosi Akerele Ogunsiji, at the Government House in Makurdi.
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The governor also called on the government and non-governmental organisations to evolve security strategies that will ensure the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their ancestral homes without delay to continue with their normal life activities.
“I want to lend my voice to what my colleague in Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum has cried out against the activities of ISWAP in that part of the country. The Federal Government should not take this alarm from the threats of ISWAP lightly.
“Take proactive steps to send the terrorists away from Nigeria so that we can live in peace. We can not continue this way. Nigeria deserves more peace than what we have now,” he said.
He thanked the VSF, stating, “The strategic support we want now is to enable our people living in the IDPs to return to their ancestral lands. Our people want to go back to their communities so that they can live their normal lives.”
Earlier, Mrs Ogunsiji said they were in the state to know from the governor on critical areas VSF should intervene in both short and long term so the organisation does not just throw money at the problems confronting the IDPs.
She stated that the visit followed a request by Governor Ortom to the VSF for support to the IDPs, stressing that a visit to the camps has revealed to the team the unhealthy nature of the environment inhabited by the IDPs.