The wife of Benue state Governor, Mrs Eunice Ortom has flagged off a ‘Camp to Camp’ Medical Outreach for Internally Displaced Persons in Gbajimba, headquarters of Guma local government area.
She said the programme was targeted at reaching twelve thousand people in five camps across the state.
The programme which is implemented by the Office of the First Lady and Eunice Spring Of Life Foundation (ESLF) through the Benue State Emergency Management Agency will be held in other camps located at Uikpam and Daudu in Guma local government and Abagena in Makurdi local government and PHC Obagaji in Agatu local government areas respectively.
She disclosed that 10,000 consultations and 2,000 surgeries will be carried out during the exercise.
Mrs Ortom expressed optimism that with Government’s sustained efforts on security, IDPs will soon return back to their ancestral homes.
She pointed out that a good number of IDPs had developed gastrointestinal and nutrition related illnesses and would be treated for free of charge.
“Let me expressed appreciation for the strategic partnership of volunteer Doctors from health institutions across the state and the state branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria with ESLF for ensuring that the Outreach was successfully implemented as part of efforts to deepen the provision of health services to most needy persons in communities”.
Earlier in his Speech, the Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Emmanuel Shior disclosed that about 1.5 million persons were currently displaced in the state.
According to him, the figures of the displaced keep rising due to pockets of recent attacks by activities of herdsmen against some communities in the state.
Declaring the outreach open, Governor Samuel Ortom who was represented at the occasion by the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Joseph Ngbegha, promised Government’s devotion towards finding solutions that will bring lasting peace to the state.
The Governor decried Federal Government’s neglect of IDPs in Benue State given that the number of displaced persons is still of high magnitude beyond the scope of the state government to handle.
Some children who spoke at the camp, including Samuel Anjande and Maureen Kpaakpa said they are beaten by rain and are living in an open cold weather and want to return home while a mother, Mrs. Adoo Ortom said she delivered a baby girl on arrival in the camp who is about four years old now.
A sixty seven years old man, Pa Asue Ukpanya explained that as a man with three wives and fifteen children, life is not easy leaving a large portion of land he use to cultivate for farming for survival to squeeze in the camp; calling on government to do the needful for Fulani herders to vacate their ancestral land so as to return home.
It will be recall that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo while on a State visit to Benue state in 2019, promised federal government intervention in the rebuilding of communities ravaged by attacks by herdsmen but such promise is yet to yield fruition.