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The worst humanitarian crisis may have occured in Benue State in recent time with not less than 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), on account of incessant attacks on communities in the state by armed herdsmen, Samuel Ortom, the state Governor, has said.
This is coming as an inmate in one of the IDP centers in Benue State, Mr. Bemshima Peter has expressed sadness over the increasing numbers of IDPs which he said had overstretched government with life becoming unbearable.
Peter said he was dislodged from his community by insurgents known to be killer herders.
Said Peter on Friday: “We don’t get help from anywhere, government is overstretched and we are dying of hunger, disease and our girls have resorted to prostitution to survive”.
The inmate who spoke out of frustration said children are dying on almost daily basis and nobody cares.
Aside losing many relations, the middle aged Peter, said he also lost his means of livelihood. Although grateful to God for sparing his life, he is pained that IDPs are abandoned to live like refugees in their own country.
The story of the children in the camp is not different. Their education is not only truncated but their future bleak. No fewer than 176 of them were in primary school while 684 older ones were in secondary school, Governor Samuel Ortom had earlier stated in one of his broadcast.
Ortom therefore called on the federal government to live up to its responsibilities by supporting the state to cater for the needs of the IDPs, just as he lamented that the Benue State government had been overwhelmed and unable to cope with the situation and urgently needed help to cater for the needs of the IDPs
Mrs Erdoo Tersor, another IDP, a nursing Mother, in one of the camps narrated their plight, listing the challenges to include lack of accommodation, security, toilet facilities and above all, health care.
According to Tersor, six IDPs died in their camp recently because they had no access to health care facilities, while more than 25 women were delivered of their babies without any medical attention. Three of the babies reportedly died during delivery.
Tersor said the IDPs would have a sense of belonging only when the federal government provides them with the necessary amenities.
Lamented Tersor: “As of now, I do not think we are Nigerians. We will become Nigerians when the government and other good people make us to feel like Nigerians”.