The Federal Government (FG) has requested all development partners, donor agencies and humanitarian partners, to immediately deploy to Benue and intervene in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the state.
Dr Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, made the appeal on Thursday in Makurdi, during the distribution of relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Ichwa Camp.
Edu said the appeal had become imperative because of the immense sufferings being faced by IDPs in Benue State.
She said the FG would officially write the headquarters of the development partners, donor agencies and other humanitarian partners within and outside the country, on the need for immediate intervention in Benue humanitarian crisis.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is requesting as a matter of emergency, all international partners, donors, agencies, UN agencies and indeed everyone in the humanitarian space to deploy to Benue.
“The humanitarian situation in Benue is unacceptable, people must be resettled properly in their ancestral homes. Benue Government cannot do this alone.
She said her office would however, monitor closely intervention by the partners in Benue, going forward.
The minister said though the FG had planned to start with one site for the construction of resettlement homes, but with the situation on ground, construction would commence at two sites.
“For the next six months all my thoughts will be about you and how to provide solution to what is going on here. We have worked with the governor to get land so that we can build low cost homes for you,” she stated.
Edu said the commencement of construction of resettlement homes for IDPs, was in fulfilment of one of President Bola Tinubu’s campaign promises; to return displaced persons to their ancestral homes.
She said Tinubu also needed the IDPs to return to their homes to farm and feed the nation, to help him realise his food security agenda.
Speaking earlier, Gov. Hyacinth Alia, said the resettlement homes would be built by the people of the affected communities.
Alia said with the support of the president, he was very optimistic that all the IDPs would return to their homes sooner than expected.
“The visit of the minister is very important to us. Eight local government areas are devastated by these crisis in the state.
“In terms of security, we are already in touch with all the apparatus on this development, so this is just a follow up on what needed to be done,” he said.
The governor specifically warned against diversion of relief materials, saying any attempt to divert anything by any official would be met with serious sanctions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the minister donated a truck of rice and vegetable oil to the Ichwa Camp IDPs.