Benue Rep urges FG to prioritise return of IDPs before ranch construction

Rep Asema Achado (APC-Benue) has appealed to the federal government to ensure quick return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes, before building ranches.

Mr Achado, who represents Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency, said this in a statement on Monday in Makurdi.

He said that President Bola Tinubu’s approval for the construction of 1,000 ranches in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Benue was good but urged the government to resettle the IDPs first.

“Many people have been killed in Benue while those who managed to survive the attacks took refuge in poorly constructed IDP camps, under very dehumanising conditions,” he said.

The lawmaker said it was regrettable that majority of the people displaced could not access their farmlands as they had been taken over by bandits.

“It is on this note that as one of the APC chieftains in Benue, I wish to advice that the first step should be to deploy security men that will ensure a peaceful dislodgement of the bandits that are unlawfully occupying homes and farmlands belonging to the people.

“Without taking this first step, I doubt the possibility of erecting houses in these areas amidst such volatile security situation.

“Upon dislodgement of the illegal occupants, the federal government will begin returning and resettling the displaced persons with assurance of safe and dignified living in their ancestral communities.

”They should also give the returnees recourse for property restitution, compensation, rehabilitation or reintegration to build back their livelihoods and economic development,” he stated.

Mr Achado said that as a lover of peaceful human coexistence, he would always welcome every initiative that would bring lasting peace among different tribes in the country.

“As a person who has always prayed for peaceful coexistence among tribes and groups in Nigeria, I welcome all initiatives that will promote peace and guarantee succour to the internally displaced persons who have being through all forms of trauma and lost their means of livelihood.

”However, such projects should equally aggregate priorities of the victims,” the lawmaker said.

He suggested that stakeholders in each of the affected states should be involved in the implementation of the project.

“Ranching to me is the best practice of animal husbandry that should be adopted all over the world but providing such for herders in a state where humans are in IDP camps due to the fear of some herders will certainly not achieve the desired peace.

“I plead with the president to direct all efforts toward guaranteeing the safety and quick return of the Benue IDPs to their ancestral homes where they can live their normal lives,” he said.

He added that Mr Tinubu was a listening leader and that working with relevant stakeholders, he would end the attacks and illegal occupation of Benue farmlands in the nearest future.


Source: GazetteNGR