Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has bemoaned that armed herdsmen attacks have paralyzed and depopulated not less than 21 local government areas in the state.
There are 23 local government areas in the state.
Thousands of Benue citizens have been slain; nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced; and property and crops worth billions of naira have been destroyed, according to the governor.
Governor Ortom, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Emmanuel Shior, spoke on the occasion of the Mdzough U Tiv in America (Tiv apex socio-cultural group) intervention for internally displaced persons at Abegana camp in Makurdi, saying the state's burden has been compounded by 11,900 Cameroonians who have fled the country.
The Punch quoted Ortom as saying, “No less than 21 of the 23 local government areas in the state have been attacked and ravaged, with some parts thereof left depopulated and with minimal or no ongoing socio-economic activities."
At certain times, the Benue State government came to the aid of households from various parts of Nasarawa and Taraba states who fled to Benue State for shelter and protection, also as a result of the activities of the belligerent armed herdsmen.
“This crisis has claimed the lives of thousands of Benue citizens, and property and crops worth billions of naira have been destroyed within these four years.
At present, about 11,900 Cameroonian refugees are in Benue State in a designated place known as the Ikyogen Refugee Settlement.
“The state government provided food, water, shelter, health (both at camp and secondary health facilities), non-food items, psychosocial support, etc. to cushion the effect of their sufferings up until 2018 when the UNHCR took over, leaving the state government with the responsibility of camp coordination and camp management and the provision of security.”