Three traditional rulers back Gov. Alia’s resettlement plan for IDPs
By Bridget Ikyado
Three traditional rulers, the Ter Guma, Ter Tyôshin, and Ad’Agatu, on Monday expressed support for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Benue State as enunciated by Governor Hyacinth Alia.
They pledged to make land available for the building of low cost cluster homes for the IDPs, who have been living in caps for over 13 years, following their displacement by armed herdsmen and militias in the state.
Similar support was received a week ago from the Mue Ter Ichôngo in Kwande and the Mue Ter Ichôngo, in Logo traditional councils.
All the five traditional rulers made the commitment when officials Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and that of Benue state visited their respective domains to assess the condition of the IDPs and seek the support of communities.
The donation of land in Guma, Gwer West and Agatu has brought the number of LGAs that have accepted the plan to five, representing five of the six LGAs that are contending with IDPs population.
Although Guma, Gwer West and Agatu will revert to the government on specific locations they will choose for the housing scheme, their traditional heads, Ad’Agatu, His Royal Highness Onah Ngbede, Ter Guma, HRH Dennis Shemberga and Ter Tyôshin HRH, Daniel Abomtse, said they have no hesitation to donating land.
“His Excellency, our governor, the God’s servant has come to redeem the people of Benue,” HRH Abomtse said, and expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for listening to the cry of the governor to resettle the IDPs.
He assured that his council will work to ensure the success of the scheme. “I do not hesitate to donate a chunk of land for the building of low cost housing for the IDPs. This decision was taken in 2020 when I wrote donating the forest reserve which is close to the evil axis,” HRH Abomtse said,.
He said that the initiative would save thousands of children who had been out of school for years.
Both Ter Guma and Ad’Agadu will consult their council members to donate land for the project to commence.
The National Programme Manager, Renewed Hope Shelter for the Poor, Refugees and IDPs, Chidimma Makuachukwu, said President Tinubu is concerned about the plight of the IDPs.
“The renewed hope shelter is one of the many programmes under the ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation by the Tinubu administration to bring hope to the people.”
“Shelter is one aspect of the many poverty alleviation programmes of the present administration and putting the displaced in clusters would help the government to attend to them better,” she added.
Aondowase Kunde, Benue State Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, said construction work will commence in November.
He addressed that it was necessary to have cluster settlements as it would enhance provision of security and social amenities.
The commissioner therefore called for support of the public to the governor’s IDPs resettlement plan.