Benue Commissioner Warns against Adverse High Temperature on IDPs

George Okoh in Makurdi

Benue State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Yarma Ortese, has called on the federal government to speed up its intervention in relocating the over five hundred thousand people in various IDPs’ camps in the state due to the hot weather condition in Benue the country.

The commissioner raised the alarm in Makurdi yesterday as suspected armed herdsmen reportedly attacked  Apa, Kwande and Guma Local Government Areas of the state, killing 10 persons and injuring several others.

The commissioner, who condemned the attack, said the conditions in the camps due to the weather may have a serious health challenge on the inhabitants.

According to him, “A situation where so many displaced people are living in a particular rooms will cause health breakdown that will lead to many diseases such as meningitis.

“This is the reason why I am calling on the federal government to quickly resettle the displaced people in a better shelter suitable for people to live.”

He said Makurdi is recording 42c of high and humid temperature which he said is dangerous for those in camp.

According to him the weather has also caused the spread of the deadly Lassa fever virus.

He said over 156 cases have been confirmed with several death recorded.

On the herders’ attack, it was gathered that the herders, who had invaded several Benue State communities with thousands of cattle since the dry season began, continue to attack Ubele, Ochumekwu, Adija, Kano and Ijaha in Apa LGA in the last three days.

Confirming the attacks, National Chairman of Apa Development Association, a socio-cultural group of people, Mr. Eche Akpoko, lamented the unending attacks and killings in Apa by the marauders, saying the attacks were carried out in three days.

He said: “I can confirm to you that there were serial attacks on the following communities: Ijaha-Ibele, where five people were killed; Ochumekwu recorded three casualties; in Adija, one person was killed, same as Kano community, where one person was also killed. These were all in Apa LGA.”

The attack was reported to have spread to Yelewata in Guma LGA, where a middle aged farmer, Mr. Oryiman Ifa, was hacked to death last Sunday morning in his cassava farm by herders, who invaded his farm with their cattle.

According to a family member, “He was left in his pool of blood but was lucky to have been rescued by neighbours, who saw him in the bush and rushed him to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi, where he is receiving treatment.” The marauders were also reported to have invaded Moon on River Mkomun close to the Cameroon boundary with Benue State on Sunday evening, where the locals were said to have been surrounded and trapped by the marauders who threatened to kill them. “Some of the trapped villagers were able to escape upon the payment of N5,000 each to those who helped them to escape from the entrapment.”

Meanwhile, when contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Catherine Anene, said she had not received information on the attacks.

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