Danjuma Joseph in this report chronicles the combined efforts by the federal and Nasarawa state governments at easing the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons in five local government areas of the state.
The Nasarawa state government has distributed relief materials worth millions of naira to the 13 local government areas of the state to alleviate the suffering of the residents.
The latest was the third in the series of the distribution of such relief materials by the state government.
In April, this year, relief materials worth millions of naira were distributed to 18 Tiv communities following the displacement of some inhabitants of the area in the wake of the farmers/herdsmen crises in January this year.
Similarly, relief materials were early this year distributed across the three senatorial zones of the state to some crisis affected communities in the wake of one disaster or the other.
It would be recalled that since January 2018, Tiv people in the Southern part of Nasarawa State were displaced as a result of the farmer/herdsmen clashes in the neighbouring Benue state.
The development prompted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, to visit the affected communities and assure them of government’s intervention.
The Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo told the displaced Tiv farmers in Nasarawa state, during the visit that government’s preoccupation on their issue was to look at what plan would enable them to go back to their homes.
“The main problem is to make sure you return back to your homes and to be safe and secured. I know that being at IDPs camp is not good for anybody. Children have to go to school and adults have to go to the farm or do whatever business they have been doing.
“We as a government will make sure that you are safe and you are able to do your work in peace and in comfort. We have been here since yesterday (Tuesday) to make sure that you are safe to return home, settle there and do your work peacefully.”
In the meantime while the displaced farmers were at the IDPs camps, government would expect that all their comfort needs in a few days, in terms of relief materials, were provided.
The previous and recent distribution of relief materials to the displaced persons in this case is a promised fulfilled, since the state government assembled Tiv stakeholders to hand-over the relief materials to the affected 18 communities.
The state government also made N500,000 cash donation to each of the communities during the distribution of the relief materials.
The beneficiaries are from 18 Tiv communities in the five local government areas of the southern zone of the state.
Other benefiting communities who got relief materials in the period under review include Obi/ Abagu, Agwatashi/ Agon, Adudu, Kartyo, Igbonghur, Daddare, Keana, Giza, Kadarko, Rukubi, Doma, Awe, Tunga, Azara, Wuse and Assakio.
Items distributed include zincs, nails, rice, maize, beverages, maggi, matrasses and other household items.
Governor Tanko Al-Makura, while distributing the material in Lafia, the state capital, said the gesture was a collaborative effort with the federal government.
The governor called on the people of the state to continue to live in peace with one another, expressing his happiness that people were moving around freely with the return of peace to the areas that had been engulfed with crisis early in the year.
Al-Makura, who commended the federal government for coming to the aid of the displaced persons in the state, also commended Tiv Development Association (TIDA), Tiv Stakeholders, Security operatives, traditional rulers and the Community Base Conflict Committee with whose support the crisis was brought to an end.
Al-Makura said government felt this was the best time to distribute the relief items to the victims of the clash, who are now back home in droves to start life affresh.
The governor disclosed that government was making arrangements to purchase building materials for the reconstruction of houses that were burnt down and vandalised.
According to him, government is happy that the returnees moved freely around, while carrying out their normal farming and domestic activities.
The governor directed the Community Based Conflict Committee in the state to relate with the TIDA officials and stakeholders to ensure that misunderstandings are resolved immediately.
Al- Makura who assured the Tiv community of his continuous support, said rural feeder roads will be graded in some of the most difficult terrains.
He disclosed that the state Ministry of Works and the Nasarawa Urban Development Board (NUDB), had been directed to grade some roads, to enable the returnees gain access to their homes.
The TIDA President, Mr Boniface Ifer, who spoke on behalf of the Tiv community thanked the governor for his efforts and the distribution of relief materials to them , as well as intensifying efforts to see that all displaced persons return home.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA), Barr. Zamani Alumaga, disclosed that each of the communities were directed to send five persons that will convey the relief materials back to their various communities.
Alumaga who warned against politicising the distribution of the relief materials, maintained that they are meant for the victims of the crisis.