In a shocking discovery, the Gbajimba IDPs Camp in Benue State has lost at least ten fatalities at the hands of armed herders. Mr. Felix Banke, the Camp Manager, revealed this alarming information during a visit by a team from the United States Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USBHA) headed by Sir James Iorpuu, the acting Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Mr. Banke disclosed that nine people had died in Gbajimba IDPs Camp II as a result of assaults by armed herders since the camp’s inception. Just a week ago, these gunmen raided Gbajimba IDPs Camp I, killing another victim whose remains had yet to be buried.
Beyond the possibility of armed assaults, the camp suffers a poor water supply situation, which has resulted in an epidemic of diarrhea among the displaced people. Mr. Banke raised worry about the combined difficulties of herdsmen incursions and a scarcity of potable water in the camp.
Furthermore, he said that the camps housed not only displaced residents from Benue State, but also those from neighboring Nasarawa State. Despite the challenges, the displaced people long for a safe return to their ancestral homes. They also exhibit a readiness to learn numerous trades, such as hairdressing, welding, and tailoring, in order to sustain themselves if given the option.
At the Ortese IDPs Camp in Guma LGA, where herders were seen freely grazing their livestock behind the camp, the Manager, Mr. Mark Kparev, said that over 11,000 IDPs had been caught during the current biometric capturing process.
Responding to the critical situation, Sir James Iorpuu, Acting Executive Secretary of SEMA, said that Governor Alia’s administration is working closely with the Federal Government and international partners to ensure the safe return of IDPs to their homes. He also said that SEMA has begun the delivery of water to the Ortese camp after Doctors Without Borders’ departure from this function. The situation remains serious, requiring immediate attention and coordinated measures to address the issues confronting the displaced people in these camps.