8 people die in Benue IDPs camp in 5 months
Eight people died at the Mbawa Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Benue between January and this month.
The Chairman of the camp, Mr Geoffrey Torgenga, made the disclosure in Makurdi on Wednesday while speaking with newsmen during a visit to the camp.
He blamed the deaths on acute hunger and different diseases at the camp, located at Daudu community in the Guma Local Government Area of Benue.
Torgenga said that the latest death at the camp was recorded last weekend and that the body of the deceased was still in the morgue.
A correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who was in the team that visited the camp, learnt that the camp received food items last before the general elections last February.
The chairman said that the IDPs were currently living on charity from civil society, religious bodies, individuals and non-governmental bodies.
He said that 3,515 IDPs were currently residing at the camp and that they had lived in the camp for more than one year.
Torgenga lamented the deplorable condition at the camp, saying that IDPs living were at the mercy of the elements night and day.
According to him, the IDPs have been venturing into nearby bushes to fetch firewood to sell to make a living.
He disclosed that a three-year-old boy, identified as Nani Iyorkaa, who went to fetch firewood had been missing since last March.
However, one of the IDPs, Edward Nyam, 63, who had been residing at the camp since January last year, expressed his appreciation to individuals and groups that had been assisting the IDPs.
He thanked the Benue government for deploying officials of the state’s emergency management agency to the camp recently to help the IDPs.
Nyam appealed to the State Government to do everything possible to ensure the return of peace in communities so that the IDPs could return to their homes.
The Camp Manager, Ms Angela Omirigbe, declined to comment on developments at the camp, saying that she had just been posted to the camp and that she was not in a position to talk to reporters.