George Okoh in Makurdi
Eminent personalities from the Benue South Senatorial zone have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a victim relief fund for the reconstruction of Agatu communities that were destroyed recently by marauding herdsmen.
Making the call yesterday in Otukpo, the President Idoma National Forum (INF), Okopi Alex Momoh said the recent devastating escalation of the herdsmen attack that claimed several lives and properties is condemnable, while urging the federal government to urgently set up a victim relief fund that would take care of the devastation caused by the attack.
While expressing regret that the Idoma nation was currently facing governance problems that have hindered its collective growth and development, Momoh maintained that this was so because the Idoma race does not have a common ground to dialogue with its political representatives on the prevailing needs of its people.
“Idoma Nation is in trouble today because our generation is not inspired and prepared to serve and lead. What is the point of Idoma laying claim to high academic excellence with over 80 professors in various fields and over 500 Ph.D holders if poverty and underdevelopment have remained high in our land?
“Of what use is our high profile involvement in government been to the collective development of Idoma nation. There is no single functional industry. The only industry in the zone is the Benue Burnt Bricks factory which has not functioned for almost 20 years.”
The forum also expressed worry over the status of the Federal University of Health Sciences which was established in the zone by the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan and appealed to political leaders across party lines to wade into the matter with a view to ensuring the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari endorses it.
“This university is the first of its kind in the country. Its uniqueness as a medical tourism centre of excellence to conserve the huge annual spending (about N3 billion) on medical services by Nigerians outside the country justifies its establishment”, the group said.