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SEMA raises alarm over increasing IDPs in Ebonyi

SEMA raises alarm over increasing IDPs in Ebonyi - the increasing number, SEMA, over, internally displaced persons, Ebonyi State, alarm over, alarm

By Sunday Agbo, Abakaliki

The Executive Secretary of Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Ken Nwabueze, has raised (IDPs) in the state.

Nwabueze, who made the disclosure in an interview with Orient Daily in Abakaliki, noted that there was huge number of IDPs in the state yet to be rehabilitated.

According to him, of the IDPs in 12 affected communities grew as a result of inter and interstate boundary disputes rocking the state.

The boss, however, stated that both the state and federal government had intervened but many IDPs are yet to be touched.

“The state government has done quite a lot to improve the welfare of IDPs in the state and that is a statement of fact. The state government has done so much in making sure that these IDPs were helped because we have quite a large number of IDPs in .

“We have IDPs at Nidiegu Okpitumo, Azuofia Edda and Enyigba, Echialieke, Ekpaomaka,Ochienyim, just to mention a few. I think the state has intervened and done a lot in almost all of these communities I have mentioned.

Starting from Azuofia Edda, the state government provided us with about N30 million, which was used to buy relief materials, and also some rehabilitation materials. They were also given some cash. Each family got N100, 000. That is outside the relief materials.

“At Mkpumaekwokwuko, the state government gave money to them. At Enyigba, Ekpaomaka, Echialieke, Origi Edda, and other places, the state government provided us with cash and food items which were given to them.

“The state government has done well to make sure their situation is enhanced. With also help from federal government, we have provided them with relief and rehabilitation materials.

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“We have provided them with roofing sheets, cements, nails and lots more. These materials are majorly for reconstruction of their houses. Our own is to make sure that these materials are judiciously and equitably distributed to the (IDPs).

“The target is the actual victims, and we have gone extra miles to make sure that is done. We do not just handover materials to the stakeholders; we go down to the grassroots and to those areas affected to make sure that these things is delivered to the actual victims.

“We believe these people are in need of these things. They need to reconstruct their houses. If they choose to sell it after it has been delivered to them as individuals they are on their own.

“I must be frank with you. There was a time I made up my mind that I was going to visit every place affected. At the end of the day, I counted about 12 communities in different parts of Ebonyi state that has had communal crisis.

“In one of those communities, about six, seven villages were affected. The crisis in Ebonyi State is so much that the government alone cannot handle it. If I tell you that the state government has reached every singular IDPs, I may not be sincere because the IDPs in Ebonyi State is so huge because the place affected are too many.

“I must tell you that I have been to Igbeagu in Izzi local government area on several occasions. The number of villages affected in Igbeagu is so much that I know that what I took to them did not reach all the villages affected.

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“I have actually reached the federal government. Before you came in, I was just going through one of the documents sent to Abuja. I can remember, we have done assessment of all the places. That of Igbeagu was one of the risky areas to be accessed.

“We were picking fresh bullets in the villages affected. And immediately we stepped out those people attacked. My team and those from Abuja narrowly escaped it. So, we have written to the federal government. But the federal government has intervened in one or two cases.

“Places like Azuoffia Edda, we wrote them and the federal government intervened through National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs. They intervened. They brought us materials twice.

“They did not only bring relief materials, they also brought rehabilitation materials. And what they brought runs into tens of millions and we took it to them on two occasions.

“They have also intervened in Ochenyim in 2015. As of the new places affected, we have conducted assessment and the report submitted, hoping that they will intervene. We have visited Igbeagu three times this year. On one of the occasions, we went with the team from NEMA”, he recalled.

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