By Chimezie Godfrey
Governor Samuel Ortom Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 unveiled the Benue State Humanitarian Response Plan, BSHRP 2022.
Performing the ceremony at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House Makurdi, Governor Ortom lamented the continued stay of over 1.5 million people, mostly peasant farmers in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps.
He stated that his administration is working assiduously to ensure that the IDP in various camps across the State are resettled back to their homes, stressing that the security situation has compelled the displaced people to remain in the camps.
According to him, “it is the security situation that has kept the IDPs in the camps till now. Those who attempted going back were attacked and killed,” the Governor stated.
He continued: “I don’t desire that anyone should be in the camp. I have interacted with them and nobody wants to be there. It is worrisome for a state like Benue which is agrarian and supported by the civil service to have over 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons. Farming activities have been brought to a halt,” the Governor lamented.
Governor Ortom appreciated the various stakeholders in the humanitarian response for standing by the state and supporting the people all this while.
Earlier in a remark, Chairman, document drafting committee, Professor Magdalene Dura disclosed that on June 17, 2021, Governor Ortom set up a Multisectoral Technical Committee to work on a Humanitarian Response Plan for Benue State.
“Today we are happy that the assignment given to us has been successfully concluded as evidenced in the readiness of the Benue State Humanitarian Response Plan (BSHRP) for public presentation.
“The plan is a practical demonstration of the commitment of the State Government and its partners to a full-fledged response to the humanitarian crisis in the state. From 2011 to the end of 2021, 21 out of the 23 Local Government Areas in the state have come under attack by herdsmen, leading to the displacement of over 1.5 million people.
“The dire humanitarian situation in the state is further compounded by the influx of Cameroonian refugees into kwande Local Government escaping the conflict in their country. The IDPs have had their livelihoods destroyed and are in need of protection, food, shelter and medical assistance.”
Professor Dura explained that the Benue State Humanitarian Response Plan is designed to align humanitarian response to the realities of operating and achieving impact in the context of Benue State.
“The plan adopts the provisions in the National Human Plan (HRP). In designing this plan, the Benue State Technical Committee on Humanitarian Response also drew useful insights from the recommendations of the Humanitarian Country Team, HCT.”
Professor Dura called on National and international humanitarian actors to bring more capacity to rescue and reverse the humanitarian situation in Benue State of Nigeria.