Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, celebrated Christmas with inmates of Abegena Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, on the outskirts of Makurdi, the Benue state capital, on Sunday and donated N3 million for their upkeep.
Addressing the displaced, Mr Obi stated that Nigerians have no business remaining in IDP camps and urged the Federal Government to take immediate action to make their ancestral homes habitable and to have them resettled.
“I decided that today I will go to Kogi and Benue to celebrate with people in IDP camps,” he said. Nigerians should not be forced to live in camps in their own country.
“So I am appealing to the Federal Government to do whatever it takes to ensure that Nigerians don’t live as refugees in their country.
“I assure you, that the next government, as we progress, we will ensure that this does not continue. Today, we’re just here to tell you to stay faithful, stay prayerful, and put all your hope in God.
“What you are experiencing is what Nigeria is experiencing. What affects you affects all of Nigeria. When you’re here, we can’t say we’re doing well.
“As long as you stay here, Nigeria will suffer. It is when you leave and are at home, farming, and doing what you are supposed to do to help Nigeria become prosperous.
Emmanuel Shior, Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, who led the Presidential candidate to the camp, had previously disclosed that the camp housed over 10,000 IDPs. He praised Mr. Obi for the gesture, emphasizing that the donation was the result of an earlier discussion with the IDPs, who stated that they needed financial assistance.
He recalled that the Presidential candidate had recently visited the Daudu 1 IDPs to support the victims, saying, “you are the first of the Presidential aspirants to visit our IDPs. We will continue to pray for you, asking God to help you realize your dreams as we approach the 2023 election.”