•Seeks NEMA intervention
•NEMA: We are awaiting reports on displaced persons
Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Plateau State Governor, Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, yesterday, described the increasing incidents of human suffering following recent insurgency in the state as worrisome.
To this end, he called for the intervention of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
However, on its part, NEMA said it was awaiting reports on those displaced in the state crisis.
Mutfwang, who paid a courtesy call on the Director General, NEMA, in Abuja, said Plateau State had been in the news of late, saying, “we are not happy about it but that is the reality.”
Speaking on the sidelines shortly after the brief meeting, he noted: “We have had a lot of incidences of insurgency in the last two to three months that has assumed the dimension of a national disaster.
“Whenever a life is lost, it is a subject of concern, but where you have over 200 people who have lost their lives, it requires a new dimension.”
According to the governor, “As a result of the insurgency, we have a lot of internally displaced people who are today in IDP camps, we have a lot of unsettled communities and of course once you have such crisis, the incidence of human suffering also increases and once you have human beings suffering from hunger, displacement, every responsible government must do something to be able to address some of those conditions and there is no other agency that is saddled with the constitutional responsibility as a nation to address those issues other than NEMA.”
Mutfwang, further said, “while we appreciate individuals, NGOS, corporate organisations for coming to the aid of the unsettled and bereaved people, we have also come to say thank you to NEMA because they have done a lot in addressing these issues and we are appealing to them to do more because we know they have the capacity to do more.
“I can assure you that government is doing a lot to address these issues. The new GOC 3rd Division who also oversees the Special Task Force of the Army resumed duty last week Saturday and moved his operational base to Mangu which is a clear departure from the past and as I am talking to you, apart from dealing with issues of insurgency and stopping the infiltration into Mangu, there are also a lot of community relations and dialogue going on amongst community leaders to forestall future occurrence and reassure people that they can still live together because Plateau is a multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-lingual state.
“We have to find the right mechanism to be able to live in peace with one another and so, government is addressing the issues but first of, we must be able to secure the areas that are under threat and we are doing that with every resource at our disposal and by the grace of God, I am confident that soon, this issue will be a thing of the past,” he assured.
Responding, the Director General, NEMA, Mustpha Abib Ahmed, said whenever disaster hits, he quickly request for on-the-spot assessment to get a report and the agency respond swiftly.
According to him, “We will not turn our backs on plateau state or any other state.”
Speaking on the flood issue, Ahmed said: “The floods of last year which affected farmers, they lost crops and farmlands; already in all the 36 states of the country including the FCT, items are already there for the farmers.
“We are waiting for the directives to flag off. Food security is very important, we have to safeguard that and get farmers back to the farm and for those displaced, I am waiting for the report, NEMA is there for the distressed, we will definitely reach out, we will make sure everybody is taken care of.”
The NEMA DG maintained that all those who lost their farm products due to 2022 flood, “all items are already in the stores in the 36 states including the FCT waiting for presidential directives from the Vice President for the flagging off next week.”
He, however, said NEMA would continue to be there for the displaced across the country.