Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has called on the Federal Government to establish the North Central Development Commission to rebuild and reconstruct infrastructures in states ravaged by herdsmen.
Ortom said the destruction of basic infrastructure and the near helplessness of the people in the North Central zone was high, hence the need for the establishment of the Commission to address the challenges confronting them.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Makurdi, the state capital, Ortom said: “If today we have the North East Development Commission, we should also have the North Central Development Commission, because the level of killing, looting and destruction of property in Benue state and other parts the North Central is actually more than what you have in the North East where you have a commission.
“We need urgent reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in the North Central because our schools, homes, hospitals, markets and farms have all been destroyed. You people have been visiting these villages and communities and can confirm what I’m saying.
“Till today as I talk to you there are still over 180,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, living in various camps in Agatu, Guma, Logo, Makurdi and others. Aside that we have over 500,000 IDPs who are living with relatives so something has to be done to help us.
“It is a very big burden on the lean finances of a state like Benue state and we have been struggling with it but it is obvious that the situation has overwhelmed us and we need bigger intervention.
“Though the federal came in to intervene but is is certainly not enough, there has to be a holistic intervention because we are also Nigerians and Benue state in particular belongs to the federation so our case should not be different.
“We commend the intervention of personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, they have done so well to restore peace to majority of the communities to enable the people return to their villages but the issue is that they cannot go back and sleep in the open especially now that the rains are here.
“The federal government came here and made promises of rebuilding the destroyed villages we are looking forward to the fulfillment of that promise. The government should give us support as they are doing to others so that these people can go back to their ancestral homes.
“For close to two years now, our children’s future and destiny have been truncated because of crisis, they cannot go to proper schools because they live in camps even healthcare is a big challenge despite the fact that public spirited individuals and organization are extending assistances.”