New Telegraph

Ortom: Benue endangered as over 10, 000 Cameroonian refugees take asylum in state

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday expressed deep worry over the massive influx of Cameroonian refugees into the state, saying the state currently hosts over 10,000 of the refugees who are taking asylum in the state due to the crises in Southern Cameroon. This is just as he also lamented the rising number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), victims of militant herdsmen’s attacks, whose number he said has risen to over 2 million, including displaced flood disaster victims where over 134, 000 persons, among them school children, have been displaced. He said that the state is now endangered as a result of the humanitarian challenge the state is grappling with.

The governor stated this when he received an Inter-Agency Technical Committee delegation from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development who paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Makurdi. He maintained that it was not an easy task for the state to manage the refugees and IDPs; he therefore urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to intervene to cushion the burden.

“We remain an endangered state as far as issues of refugees and IDPs are concerned in our country since 2017; the state has continued to witness influx of IDPs in the various official and unofficial established camps.” The governor disclosed that the state now has over 2 million IDPs that have been profiled, noting that currently the state hosts over 10,000 Cameroonian refugees who are taking refuge in Benue as a result of the crisis in Southern Cameroon. The governor further disclosed that over 134,000 persons have been displaced from their homes as a result of the recent flooding that caused havoc in some parts of the state.

While appreciating the support of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in the past, Ortom urged the committee to carry out their assessment of the humanitarian situation on ground with diligence. He mandated the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr Emmanuel Shior to furnish the inter-agency committee with detailed information on the prevailing challenges.

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