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Gov Ortom urges Buhari to include Benue in proposed North East Development Commission

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The Executive Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom has called on the federal government to develop framework which could make Benue State to be at par with other states that would benefit from the proposed North East Development Commission (NEDC).

The National Assembly had penultimate Tuesday passed a Bill for the establishment of the NEDC, wherein, the Senate proposed welfare packages for the states of North East Nigeria, including Kano and Taraba, which have been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.

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Speaking at the commissioning and handing over of the Guma Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Shelter Project built jointly by the State government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, (UNHCR) for internally displaced persons from Benue, Taraba, and Adamawa states; Governor Ortom also appealed to other donors to include Benue State in their scheme of things.

“Based on data from the International Office of Migration, Benue state is the worst hit state in Nigeria outside of the North Eastern states with about 700,000 people directly displaced, some 450,000 people, though not directly displaced, yet suffering various degrees of inconveniences and rights abuses”, Ortom said.

Governor Ortom who was represented by his deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu said “12 out of the 23 local government areas in the state are affected, and are still suffering the impact of the displacement with Agatu and Logo in worst monumental dimension”.

While thanking the United Nation’s agency for coming to the aid of the state, the Governor also expressed happiness with the relationship between the state and the UN and further expressed the desire of the state to build partnership with the UN system towards activities and capacity that will help in preventing or reducing displacement within the SDG’s agenda of the UN.

Governor Ortom who used the occasion to reiterate Benue’s rejection of grazing reserves, affirmed the position that ranching, done by the individual cattle owners, without government over-bearing interference is the solution to the incessant herdsmen/farmers clashes in the country.

The information obtained from the Chief Press Secretary to the deputy Governor, Ogaba Ede said the event was attended by the deputy governor of Adamawa state, Hon. Martins Babale and many top government functionaries and representatives of international organizations and agencies.

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