Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has solicited the support of the British government to resettle the over 1.5 million internally displaced persons in the state.
The Governor made the appeal on Tuesday when he played host to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Sam Waldock who led other officials of the Commission on an official visit to Benue State.
Ortom who noted that the state was passing through serious humanitarian crisis said at the moment, the state has over 1.5 IDPs with some living in camps while others have been absorbed by relations into other communities.
He regretted that the security challenges that led to the humanitarian crisis have also exposed the state to food crisis bordering on famine.
“We need to resettle the people that have been displaced and living in camps as well as provide livelihood support to the internally displaced persons. A partnership with the British Government to assist with the humanitarian crisis will help the state pull out of this crisis.”
The Governor also drew the attention of the British government to what he described as the imbalance in the donor agencies’ interventions in the country which he noted are tilted more to the north east thereby literally ignoring the humanitarian crisis bedeviling the north central or middle belt region.
“We have been agitating for a North Central or Middle Belt Development Commission similar to the one created for the North East to no avail. It is my hope that your government will wield in on this matter and push for more donor support to the North Central region (Middle Belt) and the creation of the North Central Development Commission,” Ortom said.
Earlier in a remark, Mr. Sam Waldock told the Governor that he was in the state to seek partnership in the area of peace and security and access the level of preparedness ahead of the 2023 general elections among other issues.
Waldock who was accompanied by the Conflict Advisor, British High Commission, Paul Nyoraku, said the British government have been keenly following the security challenges facing the State government.
The British High Commissioner disclose further that they were in the state to have a first hand information about the security issue confronting the State, its impacts on the communities and how the Commission can partner with the state government to ensure peace.