Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue State, which lies in the middle belt of Nigeria, has called on the United Nation, UN, and other international bodies and civil society organisations to remember the over 500, 000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the state.
Governor Orton whose state has been under consistent attack by armed herdsmen since the beginning of the year, made the call as the state joined the rest of the world in commemoration of this year’s Humanitarian Day.
Against the theme of the 2018 World Humanitarian Day which is ‘Not a Target’, Orton said the theme was a significant one and expressed sadness that the people of his state had become targets of armed herdsmen attacks in gross violation of global conventions on the right to life and human dignity.
The Governor lamented that the humanitarian crisis occasioned by armed herdmen attacks in the last eight months have overstretched the lean resources of the state.
Governor Ortom recounts that hundreds of lives have been lost, homes, schools, churches and health centres were destroyed with over 180,000 people in eight Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps and over 500,000 displaced people are either living with relatives or in uncompleted buildings across several local government areas.
Explaining further that out of the number of those in the camps, 80,000 were children forced out of school with over 2,000 pregnant women and 2,766 nursing mothers, Governor Ortom appreciates humanitarian groups such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, civil society organisations and the media for their interventions in bringing succour to the IDPs.
He also commended the Nigerian military for the ongoing Operation Whirl Stroke in which some soldiers have been casualties and reassured Benue people that his administration will not relent in its bid to see the end of armed herdsmen attacks aimed at conquering and occupying the Benue Valley.