From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi
The Federal government has commenced the construction of resettlement homes for Internally Displaced Persons, (IDPs) in Benue State.
Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu disclosed this after laying the foundation for the construction of 20 units of clustered settlement in Mbagwen, Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State on Wednesday.
Dr. Edu who noted that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not want Nigerians to live in shanties, said he (the President) he is concerned about the plight of the people who have been displaced from their ancestral home and other s committed to resettle them.
According to her, “it is time for Benue people who have cried for too long to enjoy. This is a beginning of a journey to return home.
“President Tinubu had promised to work with Governor Hyacinth Alia to return the people home and today is the beginning of fulfilment of that promise.
While decrying the pain and anguish the people have gone through the years as a result of displacement by bandits, the minister said, “you cannot reduce a Food Basket of the nation to hunger, hope is here. You will occupy your places and provide food for the nation. You will return home in peace.
“The President does not want the people to live in shanties but in their homes where they can wake up and produce food for the nation. The people will build the houses themselves. This gives them the dignity to build their home as well as empower them financially,” she added.
Speaking, Benue State Governor Hyacinth Alia said attacks on the people have been on since 2010 and heightened in 2016.
He lauded President Tinubu for keeping to his pledge to return the people to their ancestral homes and urged the people to be patient with the Government.
House of Assembly member for Makurdi North, Hon. Berger Alfred lamented that more than 12,000 people have been killed by bandits since 2011.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Aondoawase Kunde stressed the need to put measures in place to prevent and reduce vulnerability to future disasters in collaboration with security agencies.
While he congratulated the IDPs for the news lease of life they are about to witness, Kunde called on the IDPs to support the government to ensure a smooth process towards their return.