11,900 Refugees, 1.5m IDPs Have Crippled Benue, Ortom Laments  

Mon May 23rd, 2022 - Benue

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has disclosed that the hosting of over 11,900 Cameroonian refugees and over 1.5million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has grossly affected the socio-economic condition of the state.

This is even as the governor explained that the Cameroonian refugees found themselves in Benue as a result of the 2017 declaration of Republic of Ambazonia by the South-Western Cameroonians, adding that the unfortunate situation has overstretched the state’s resources.

Governor Ortom who spoke during the intervention of the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA) to the plight of internally displaced persons at Abegana camp, said the declaration then was in response to the alleged marginalisation of the zone by the government of Cameroon, amongst other problems.

The governor also called on MUTA to intervene further by engaging the federal government to provide more security at the border areas to ensure the return of the IDPs and to also reconstruct their houses and the destroyed infrastructure in their places including bridges, schools, hospitals, worship centres.

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Represented by the executive secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Dr Emmanuel Shior, the governor said that the state had been providing for the wellbeing of the refugees, aside the over 1.5 million displaced persons in the state.

“At present about 11,900 Cameroonian refugees are in Benue State in a designated placed known as the Ikyogen Refugee Settlement.

“The state government provided food, water, shelter, health in both camps, non-food items, psychosocial support, etc to cushion the effect of their sufferings until in 2018 when the UNHCR took over, leaving the state government with the responsibility of camp coordination and camp management and the provision of security.”




source: Leadership