By Amos Aar
THE UNITED Farmers’ Association Kadarko (UFAK) has called on the Benue State Government to extend its humanitarian intervention to internally displaced farmers in Nasarawa State in the planned resettlement of IDPs.
UFAK president, Mr Dennis Denen Utsa, made the call Wednesday in Makurdi when he led members of the association on a courtesy visit to the chairman, Benue State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in his office.
Utsa alleged that the Nasarawa State Government has excluded Tiv-speaking farmers displaced in Nasarawa State from benefiting from relief items given IDPs and has denied them accommodation in IDP camps, compelling the Tiv people who are constitutionally indigenes of Nasarawa state to move to Benue IDP camps.
“The Nasarawa State Government has continued to exclude farmers from socio-economic benefits given to others in the state. The state government has refused to provide IDP camps for these indigent and vulnerable displaced farmers within the affected areas of Awe, Obi, Keana and Doma local government areas,” Utsa alleged.
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While he lamented continued killing of farmers in Nasarawa State, Utsa called on traditional leaders in Benue State to engage their counterparts in Nasarawa State to prevail on the chief of Giza, Sangari Giza, to withdraw killer herders allegedly hired and camped in Giza, Doka and Kadarko in Nasarawa State.
“These indigent and vulnerable farmers have continuously been slaughtered or killed in their houses like animals by Buzzaye terrorists disguised as herders,” Tsav claimed, adding that over 4,700 farmers have been killed between 2011 and 2023 from the areas mentioned above.
According to him, 652, 260 households have been displaced, over 246, 965 people missing while 1,845,671 have been brutally injured.
The UFAK president appealed to the federal government to include Nasarawa in the resettlement of returned IDPs and also in the conditional cash transfer program in order to cushion their economic hardship, pointing out that the IDPs are most vulnerable.
He further called on the federal government to ensure that alleged killers already arrested and investigated are charged to court and ensure that affected communities access justice.
He added: “The Attorney General of the Federation should ensure that all cases related to act of terrorism are investigated by the police of Nasarawa State CIID, Lafia Department for State Services and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps are charged to court in accordance with due process.”
Although he commended Governor Alia’s plan to relocate IDPs to their ancestral homes, Utsa said the governor should know that the massive killing of farmers in Nasarawa State have continued unabated and the returned IDPs will still be killed.
Responding, the NUJ state chairman, Comrade Vincent Nyinongu, sympathised with UFAK over the reported killing of its members in Nasarawa State and promised that all the allegations made by the association would be verified critically for balanced and objective reportage.
Highlight of the courtesy call was the presentation of posters containing scores of lives and properties destroyed in two communities in Nasarawa State as few instances of mass destruction in the state.