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Published On: Wed, Jan 15th, 2020

IDPs decry poor welfare, planned withdrawal of OPWS from Benue

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From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Internally Displaced Persons in Benue State have lamented over the poor intervention by Federal and State Governments on their wellbeing.
This is just as they have urged the federal government to resist the temptation to drawback the Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS from troubled areas in the State.
The IDPs have been in camp for over three years as a result of a pension fund for the attacks by suspected herdsmen on their communities that led to the death of more than 73 persons.
Speaking with our correspondent who visited the Abagena camp located along the Makurdi-Lafia road, 25 years old Aondowase Iwar who got married in the camp to 17 year old I 6 Martha, expressed dissatisfaction with the support from the FG and State Governments as well as donor agencies toward their plight.
“I am tired of staying in camp. It is as if my future and destiny have been stagnated. I want to return home and work. If the federal government decides to drawback OPWS, that means we will continue to remain in camp. I think what the FG should do is live up to its promise in rehabilitating our areas”, Aondowase said.
Likewise, 50 years old Francis Aijakaa who said he was displaced from Doma in Nasarawa State with seven children, called on the federal government not to withdraw men of Operation Whirl Stroke,,OPWS acknowledging that they have been of immense help to them.
While Simon Gbake who hails from Torkula village in Guma local government area said he is not comfortable staying in the camp, noting the food is not good and medical treatment is inadequate.
Gbake also, frowned at the planned Withdrawal Of OPWS, saying that federal government should rather strengthen security in their area so that they could go back home.
Camp Manager, Abagena IDP Camp James Iorkyaa said the State government has not relented in providing relief materials for the displaced persons, adding that doctors without borders are providing medical treatment to them.
He intimated that they have witnessed 69 births and 41 deaths mostly of elderly persons since 2018.
Iorkyaa also, kicked against the planned Withdrawal Of Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, observing that the villages are not safe for the people to return home, maintaining that there must be adequate security in place for the people to return home.

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