By Faith Igbudu
Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA), Dr Emmanuel Shior, has called on the United Nations (UN), other international communities and civil society organisations as well as the Federal Government to remember the over two million (2,000,000) Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State.
Shior made the call in Makurdi as the world commemorates this year’s Humanitarian Day.
According to his Media Aide, Gwabo Gwaza, the ES expressed sadness that the Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has abandoned the Benue IDPs, who have been displaced by armed Fulani herdsmen, in flagrant violation of global conventions on the right to life and human dignity.
He said the humanitarian crisis occasioned by armed Fulani herdsmen attacks in the last five years have overstretched and made lean the resources of the state.
Shior further described as significant, the theme of the 2022 World Humanitarian Day, which is: “It takes a village to raise a child. Similarly, it takes a village to support a person in a humanitarian crisis,” saying this year’s commemoration focuses on collective endeavour to grow global appreciation of humanitarian work.
The ES recounts that thousands of lives have been lost, homes, schools, churches and health centres destroyed with over two million IDPs in nine official camps, unofficial camps and host communities across the state.
He appreciated humanitarian partners and agencies such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the media and other international and local Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for their interventions in bringing succour to the Benue IDPs.
He urged donor governments to commit more resources to building the capacities of local and national actors operating in high-risk and hostile environments, particularly Benue State, which has faced the challenge for more than four years, and expressed hope that the day will soon come when there will be no need to commemorate the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Shior conveyed the commitment of the Benue State Government, under Governor Samuel Ortom, to continue to strengthen, support, and enforce all measures related to the protection of humanitarian and civil society actors in the state.