From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
An international organization, International Human Rights Commission, IHRC, has lamented over the state of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Benue State.
President of the Organization which is also, an affiliate of the United Nations, UN Ambassador Bonsaid Housaid made the lamentation on Monday night at the presentation of ‘Order of Pride of Africa/Nelson Mandela Award for Long Walk to Freedom on Governor Samuel Ortom’ held at the Banquet Hall of Benue Government House.
Amb. Housaid said they went round to sites of the burial of 73 persons killed by herdsmen in Makurdi and another where 2 priests and 17 parishioners were buried in Ayati, Gwer local government area as well as the IDP camp in Abagena frowned at the ugly situation of the inmates.
According to him, the inmates are living without good food, clothing, water and security.
“It is our duty to get the right feedback. The IDPs told us that they want to go back home. It is the responsibility of the Federal government to send them back home and to stop playing politics.
“We want to commend the Governor for his strides in the area of humanitarian services and issues. This award is meant to spur him to do more. He is the right man for this award”, Amb. Housaid said.
IHRC Coordinator for Africa, Mr. Innocent Akuhe said the organization is amongst the six internationally recognized that promotes human right activism, adding that it the most respected in African content because it is the pride of the continent.
Mr. Akuhe noted that Governor Ortom has demonstrated firmness and rare courage, a concept of the late Nelson Mandela of standing with the people to deserve the award.
“We are not merchants and this is not a commercial award. It was not lobbied or influenced. He was found fit as a freedom fighter who put his life and that of his wife on the line for the people. With this award, he has become an envoy of the UN”, the African coordinator maintained.
Responding, Governor Samuel Ortom who dedicated the award to those who lost their lives in the struggle to stop the invaders from capturing the land, reiterated his call to the Federal Government to help resettle the IDPs.
“I want to comment the media, all Nigerians especially the Socio cultural groups, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Ohaneze D’Igbo and other religious bodies who stood with us to ensure that the invaders did not take us as slaves in our fatherland. I appreciate the IHRC for this wonderful gesture and pledge our readiness to partner with them to promote peace not only in Benue, Nigeria but other parts of the country,” he promised..