The Benue State Government has relocated over 6,000 Cameroonian refugees camped and catered for in the state from Anyake Camp to Ikyogen Cattle Ranch in Kwande Local Government Area of the state.
The refugees who were displaced as a result of growing political upheaval in the country, were mostly indigenes of the state and were relocated amidst tight security made up of men of the Nigerian Army, Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) among others.
The IDPs are to be relocated to the new place for better facilities such as shelter, education, water, sanitation and land for farming.
The Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA) in conjunction with United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other top security apparatuses, commenced relocation of the refugees yesterday. SEMA Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Shior, while handing over the first batch of the refugees conveyed in over 30 buses to the traditional ruler (Mue Ter) of Ichongu, Chief Simon Baver, who represented the paramount ruler of Kwande (Ter Kwande), Hillary Ikyima, appealed for cordial relationship between the community and the displaced persons. Shior commended Governor Samuel Ortom for providing the needed support for the refugees, saying that the security of both the refugees and relevant stakeholders working tirelessly for their welfare remained the governor’s top priority.
He reiterated the collaboration of SEMA with UNHCR and other relevant stakeholders in providing essential services to cushion the hardship the refugees were passing through such as in security, shortage of food items, lack of healthcare services and poor education among others.
Head of the UNHCR Sub-Office in Ogoja, from neighbouring Cross River State, Mulugeta Zewdie, commended the state government for providing security and assistance to refugees.