By George Okoh in Makurdi
Governor, Samuel Ortom has called on the United Nations, other international bodies and civil society organisations to support over 500, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State.
The governor made call yesterday on the occasion of this year’s World Humanitarian Day.
He described as significant, the theme of the 2018 World Humanitarian Day which is ‘Not a Target’ and expressed sadness that the people of his state have become targets of armed herdsmen attacks in gross violation of global conventions on the right to life and human dignity.
He said the humanitarian crisis occasioned by armed herdsmen attacks in the last eight months have overstretched the lean resources of the state.
Ortom noted that hundreds of lives have been lost, while homes, schools, churches and health centres destroyed and over 180,000 people in eight Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and over 500,000 displaced people either living with relatives or in uncompleted buildings across several local government areas.
He said out of the number of those in the camps, 80,000 are children forced out of school with over 2,000 pregnant women and 2,766 nursing mothers.
Ortom thanked 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 commends the Nigerian military for the ongoing ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ in which some soldiers have been casualties.
Ortom reassured the people of the state that his administration would not relent in its bid to see the end of armed herdsmen attacks aimed at conquest and occupation of the Benue valley.