BSEMA commends development partners for supporting Benue IDPs

The IOM team carrying out the exercise has completed its assignment in affected local government areas in zone A and B and has moved to zone C

By Henry Ibya, Makurdi

Benue State Emergency Management Agency, BSEMA, has lauded efforts of development partners and the federal government through National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for their continued support through supply of food and non-food relief items to Internally Displaced Person’s, IDPs, in the state for the past seven years but noted that more has to be done, especially that the situation has overwhelmed the state.

Speaking during an interview with journalists, weekend, in Makurdi, Executive Secretary BSEMA James Iorpuu equally acknowledged the commitment of other international donor organizations, particularly the International Organization for Migration, IOM, which is currently in the state carrying out biometric verification of all IDPs in the state with the view to ascertain the actual number of the displaced persons for better planning.

Iorpuu recalled with displeasure that on assumption of office during his first meeting with development partners, he discovered that Benue State had no verifiable data of Internally Displaced Person’s, IDPs, adding that instead of sitting to blame his successor, he drew a line and decided to move on.

” I was not comfortable with the information I received, I was given a stagnant figure of displaced persons between 2018-2023.

” I was told that Benue State has an IDP population of 2.1 million and my worry was that there was no movement either forward or backward, whether the camps had received new IDPs resulting to increase or decrease in figure” Iorpuu pointed out, stressing that the biometric capturing exercise has exposed BSEMA and government to new information.

He said the biometrics verification exercise has exposed fresh cases of IDPs recently displaced by herders at Anyiin in Logo LGA, Ayati, Afia, Jootar, Kyado and Gbeji communities all in Ukum Local Government Area, lamenting that those in the new camps are going through more agonizing conditions and called on media organization to partner BSEMA to give adequate publicity for the world to know the humanitarian situation in the state.

He further disclosed that the IOM team carrying out the exercise has completed its assignment in affected local government areas in zone A and B and has moved to zone C particularly to Agatu, stating that with the complex nature of the area,14 days has been earmarked for the exercise for those who have been displaced and are taking refuge in different locations including Wadata in Makurdi Local Government Area which host about 70% of Agatu IDPs for them to also back to be captured.

Iorpuu while counting benefits explained that the biometric verification which was done in conjunction with other partners such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,the Red Cross, Community Links and other International partners has no doubt placed Benue humanitarian crisis on the global map as the figures obtained from the exercise has already been published online and is making impact, adding that the American Government has signified interest in the crisis and equally promised to visit the state in January with the aim of assisting the Benue IDPs.

He equally commended the IOM for ensuring that Benue humanitarian situation received desired attention globally as well as the federal government for taking interest in supporting the humanitarian crisis in the state but maintained that though governor Hyacinth Alia is not such a leader who believes in propaganda, he was working behind the scene to ensure that the humanitarian crisis in the state is resolved once and for all, for IDPs to go back to their ancestral homes.

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