Over 1.5m IDPs in Benue beg UNDP for assistance

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By Kingsley Chukwuka

The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State have wondered why the United Nation Development Programme, (UNDP), is not paying attention to it’s plight of abject suffering and deprivation of basic necessities of life due to the incessant Fulani herdsmen attack.

The IDPs four years ago, were displaced from their villages and are now scattered in different IDPs camps in the State.

Each camp has tents for over 10,000 IDPs scared around Benue, a situation that is worrisome but has attracted no attention from the Federal Government, Mr Godwin Gang, a Leader of the Middle-belt Group said.

The IDPs want to return to the homes they were forced to flee and need the help of the government to rebuild, resettle and plan for a better future, the National Youth Leader, Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians (CNNC), Engr. Daniel Kadzai also said.

However, speaking to our correspondent, Gang said the UNDP is only focusing in the Northeast neglecting the North-central especially Benue State where an alarming rate of IDPs has hit 1,597,000.

Just recently the UNDP began to implement a programme of early recovery in the northeast that will create hundreds of jobs while promoting peace and social coshesion among conflict-affected communities in the Northeastern part of Nigeria, our correspondent report.

“Why is the UNDP not extending their help to Benue State IDPs, where we have women and children suffering in their numbers?, CNNC Kadzai quarries.

Speaking to one of the IDPs in camp who does not want his name on print said, “I have three children here with me and they do not go to school. They are here suffering with me. I think tomorrow will be worse than this,” he said

Expressing fears for his children’s future and others under the circumstances, he continued saying: “my family are not alone in this appeal, we also have pregnant women here with no hope for safe delivery.

“If the government can help us to stop the fight so that everyone can go back to their homes and work, we will be able to struggle as we were doing before to get something to take care of the children,” the IDP continued in pidgin English.

At the camp, there are many weary faces from the aged to distressed mothers; all worrying about what to eat with their families and how to educate their children, a situation that gets tougher with each passing day.

Feeding is a major challenge for the IDPs due to the large population at the camp, the government’s food supplies are never enough.

To supplement this, some of the IDPs resort to cooking almost-spoiled or perishing food items sourced from dealers in the local market, our correspondent said.