By Faith Igbudu
Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Emmanuel Shior, has blamed the attack on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp, Abagena, Makurdi, on the recent ban of police checkpoints round the country.
He therefore, appealed to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to review his security strategy and intensify internal security to safe guard lives and properties in the country.
“The attack could only be possible due to ban on police checkpoints by the new Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba. If not, Abagena community had a check point that would scare away such attacks.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the IG and the federal government to provide more security in Benue State to repel such attacks,” he said.
Dr Shior revealed this in a recent press briefing after the state government and the agency visited some IDPs in the hospital who are currently receiving treatment in the hospital as a result of injuries inflicted on them when suspected armed Fulani herdsmen attacked the IDP camp.
“We received distress calls from Abagena Camp at about 12:00am. We summoned security agencies and on getting there, we found out that the Fulani herdsmen had already killed some of the IDPs,” he explained.
Dr Shior who described the attack on the IDPs at the Abagena Camp and the host community as worrisome, barbaric, inhuman and primitive, called for more support for the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, in fighting against Fulani herdsmen who have consistently attacked the state. He said there are up rising cases needing humanitarian interventions on a daily basis, a problem which he described as ‘huge’ needing every form of support.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to our humanitarian partners, to help the governor of Benue State by drawing the attention of the International Community to what has bedeviled the State.
“When the IDPs who are displaced from their communities and are taking refuge in the camps and the attackers chase them to come and kill them in the camps, it becomes a terrible situation.
“This camp is in Makurdi only at the outskirts, if this is happening in Makurdi, then we have a worrisome situation,” he lamented.
“We are afraid that the attackers have come up with a plan to attack not only this camp, but to take their attacks to other camps. That is why it is important for everyone to work to support the government of Benue State and help arrest this situation,” Shior stated.
In separate remarks, President, Benue Youth Forum, Terrence Kuanum and National President, Tiv Youth Organisation (TYO), Timothy Hembaor, who lamented the attack on the Benue State capital as well as that of kidnapping of students of University of Agriculture said there has not been commiserate action by security just like the reprisal attack when some army men were alleged to be harassed by some Tiv communities in Konshisha Local Government in Benue State.
“We are facing an unfortunate situation where the capital of this state has also been involved in this attack by herdsmen and we are not seeing the military going after this people the way they went after our people when they were attacked in Konshisha local government. We feel that the security people are deliberately letting us down so that our people will be killed even to the point of IDP camps,” they opined.
“We are friends; it’s high time that our friendship pays off. In Tiv Traditional Council, we have honoured Fulani people so we are appealing to them that they should come to our aid now,” they pleaded.
It was reported that Fulani herdsmen recently attacked the camp killing seven persons, six died on the spot, one died in the hospital while nine persons sustained various degrees of injuries and are receiving treatment.