Children’s Day: Senate Donate Relief To Benue Children In IDP Camps
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
The Nigeria Senate has donated assorted food stuff, make-shift clinics and classrooms for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), particularly children, in Benue.
The donation was done by Senate President, Bukola Saraki on behalf of his colleagues on Sunday in Makurdi, in celebration of the children’s day.
“Distinguished Colleagues and I decided to mark the 2018 National Children’s Day here in Benue, with children and parents who, due to no fault of theirs, find themselves in an Internally Displaced Camp on a day set aside for the nation to celebrate its children as its greatest asset.
“This visit is also emblematic of our deep concern and sympathy for children and other IDPs in many other parts of Nigeria – in places such as Borno, Yobe and Adamawa – who have become victims of the many conflicts that are destroying entire communities.
“We recognise that there are many other children and adults who do not even have the meagre luxury of IDP camps in many places in Kaduna and Zamfara States, fellow citizens who are daily exposed to bandits, robbers, kidnappers and rapists, as well as the elements.
The senate president stated that they know for sure that the items donated would be of immense benefit to the IDPs especially the children because they could now receive some teachings while at the camp.
He pointed out that education of the children was of paramount importance to them because they were the future of the nation and education was the bedrock of the society.
Saraki said that the plight of the children were of utmost concern to them and reason why they donated the make-shift classrooms so that they could be receiving some teachings pending when normalcy would return and they could go back to their homes.
He also expressed optimism that with the efforts the senate was making, peace would soon return and the IDPs would go back to their homes, adding that they had started engaging all the security chiefs on the Benue killings.
He said that anything that affected Benue would certainly affect the entire North Central Zone and all would show concern irrespective of religion or tribe.
“We chose to visit Abagena IDP Camp, to spend some time with the children and inspect the facilities, in continuation of the Senate’s search for solutions to multi-faceted crises that are stretching our security, and law-and-order assets beyond their limits.
“What is clear is that we must fund our security agencies. We must equip and support them, so as to bring to the barest minimum those situations that cause people to be internally displaced. The killings going on in many parts of the country must stop. They are anathema to civilised values and cannot be tolerated.
“Benue State, in particular, has suffered terribly as a result of these senseless, murderous activities. We are gravely concerned about the situation. That is another reason we are here today, to say to the people of Benue: You Are Not Alone.
“We remain committed to ensuring security in this state in particular. Our efforts towards supporting effective solutions to the deteriorating security of the nation as a whole, will be unrelenting,” I added.
He encouraged senators from Benue to support Governor Samuel Ortom to succeed saying that his success was the success of the entire state.
Responding Governor Samuel Ortom commended the senate president for the visit to celebrate Children’s Day with the little children at the Abagena camp,in Makurdi.
He expressed hope that with the coming of the senate president the killings would cease, adding that peace had started returning with the commencement of the operation whirl stroke though there were still pockets of killings here and there.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Food Security, Mrs Dorcas Ukpe, lamented that about 23 per cent of the children in the IDP camps were malnourished and something was urgently needed to be done to arrest the dangerous situation.
The Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Emmanuel Shior lamented the overwhelming humanitarian crisis which was occasioned the armed Fulani herdsmen killings.
Shior further lamented that as a result of the killings, 175,070 people were displaced and they were staying in eight camps scattered across the state.
He called on the Senate and the federal government to do everything within their powers to end the killings and also cater for the displaced.
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