Palpable fear has gripped the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the eight designated camps across Benue State over the purported plan by police authority to withdraw its officers deployed to the camps.
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, had on Wednesday, 1st of August 2018, told newsmen in Makurdi that he got information that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had ordered the withdrawal of police officers deployed to all the camps.
“I received information that policemen in the IDP camps were withdrawn on the directives of the Inspector General of Police and I have no control over them, so that is the situation in which we find ourselves in Benue”
The governor said he would visit the camps starting from next week to address the displaced persons on the need for them to seek alternative place to take refuge.
“I will be going to the camps to visit them to tell them to find alternative places because there is no point keeping them.
“The N200million Wike promised is in the account. I will use the money to mobilise them and whatever we get at the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) will be distributed to them,” Ortom said.
But our correspondent, who visited three of the eight camps located in Makurdi and Guma local government areas of the state yesterday, reports that palpable fear has gripped the displaced persons.
Though, policemen were found in the camps at Abegana camp in Makurdi, RCM primary school and Humanitarian Refugee camps, all in Daudu.
The chairman of IDPs at Abegana camp, Philip Usatse, told our correspondent that report of withdrawal of policemen filtered to the camp but said that he was not sure if the directive would affect the camp.
But an elderly person at the refugee camp at RCM primary school, Daudu, Lorliam Tsea said, ‘We were told that the policemen deployed to this camp are expected to leave the camp and you know if such thing happens, we are not safe here again.”
At Humanitarian Refugee camp in Daudu, a house wife, Kukase Akpen, who spoke to our correspondent, said the report of the withdrawal was brought to them on Wednesday, saying, ‘We have been living in fear since then, we can not go back to our communities because Fulanis are still there.’
The camp commandant at the Daudu camps, Omirigbe Angela, confirmed to our correspondent that they were informed of the withdrawal of policemen.
“It is true, we were told yesterday (Wednesday) that the policemen deployed to the two camps in Daudu here would be withdrawn today but as you can see, they are still here,” adding that 10 policemen were attached to each of the camps in Daudu.
Efforts to get the reaction of the spokesman of the state command, DSP Moses Yamu failed as he did not pick the calls.