IDPs in Benue now over 1 million ― Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Saturday said that the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in various camps in Benue State is over one million.

He attributed the rise in the figure to the recent sustained armed herdsmen attacks on communities in the state.

Governor Samuel Ortom made the revelation while addressing IDPs at Uikpam, one of the camps in the state.

He called on donor agencies, philanthropists, and humanitarian workers to assist in addressing the plight of the IDPs.

Governor Ortom said resources of the state had been overstretched, appealing that the government requires support to be able to cater to the needs of the affected people.

He restated the resolve of his administration not to repeal the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state contrary to the agenda of enemies of the state.

Governor Ortom while thanking God for taking him to the age of 60, said he had also prayed for the restoration of peace to enable the displaced persons to return to their ancestral homes, pointing out that God would put enemies of the state to shame.

The Governor who was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Eunice Ortom, warned against rape and violence against women especially those in the IDPs camps, saying his administration would deal decisively with culprits of such crime.

Executive Secretary State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Emmanuel Shior confirmed that earlier statistics showed Benue had over 800,000 IDPs with some in camps and others living with their relatives, stressing that only the one at Uikpam has 27,000 IDPs.

House of Representatives Member for Makurdi-Guma, Hon Benjamin Mzondu advised the youth to support security agencies posted to their areas for improved security.

During the visit, the IDPs thanked the Governor for the constant care and support he has been giving them.

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