Benue State government has lamented the spate of insecurity and its attendant impact of education, expressing worry that most of the children have been thrown out of school in the last five years due to attacks and killing of the people by militia herdsmen in the state.
The Senior Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to Governor Samuel Ortom, Dr. Magdalene Dura, disclosed this while making a public presentation of the State Humanitarian Response Plan (BSHRP) at the Government House, Makurdi.
Dura, who expressed worry over the development and noted that the state is producing a generation of illiterates following the huge humanitarian cri sis, due to the activities of Fulani herdsmen militia attacks in the state, lamented that most Benue children, who are now taking refuge at various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps were today out of school.
According to her, between 2011 and 2021, no fewer than 21 of the 23 local government areas in the state had come under attacks by herdsmen, leading to the displacement of over 1.5 million people. She further lamented: “Apart from the Fulani-induced humanitarian crisis, Benue State is also besieged by nature-induced humanitarian disasters such as flooding and protracted communal clashes. “Majority of the displaced persons are living in host communities and others in official government camps, while there are unofficial camps set up by the IDPs as self-help measures across the state.
These persons have lost their shelters and livelihoods, with some facing health challenges. “Indeed, the most worrisome is that Benue is producing a generation of illiterates as most of our children in the last five years are out of school while they are in the camps.”
The governor’s aide, who noted that the livelihoods of the IDPs had been destroyed, however, said that they are in dire need of protection, food, shelter and medical assistance, saying that the Response Plan is a practical demonstration of the commitment of the state government and its partners to a full-fledged response to the humanitarian crises in the state.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Dura added that the Benue State Humanitarian Response Plan was designed to align with the humanitarian response for the realities of operating and achieving impact in the context of the state.
She, therefore, urged humanitarian donors to increase their support for the state and the Benue Valley of Nigeria in order to enable implementing organisations to reach and meet their needs based on the extent of their potential capacity rather than resources.
On his part, Governor Ortom, while receiving the document, commended the committee for doing a good job, saying the continued stay of IDPs in the camps has continued to make him more emotional.
He assured the committee that the state government would do everything within its powers to ensure that the IDPs are resettled back to their ancestral homes.