<<< By Jimin Geoffrey >>>
The Benue State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government is considering the introduction of cluster settlement patterns for communities in the state.
Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this today in Gbajimba, Guma local government area while interacting with newsmen during the inspection of facilities preparatory to the reconstruction of ravaged homes and resettlement of internally displaced persons in Benue.
The Governor who was taking round a delegation from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, led by the Director General of the agency, Engineer Mustapha Maihaja, said government and the traditional institution were exploring ways of adopting new settlement patterns aimed at bringing the people together for greater development.
He stressed that the proposed reconstruction of destroyed homes in the state by the Federal Government would soon commence.
Governor Ortom stated that the delegation’s visit was a follow-up to President Muhammadu Buhari’s promises through the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to rebuild destroyed homes in Benue and also provide security and inputs to farmers to enable them return to their ancestral homes and continue with their normal activities.
“Government, in conjunction with the traditional institution is encouraging that there is need to take a second look at our settlement pattern. This is trying to bring the people together and I believe that the Federal Government will facilitate this,” he stated.
The Governor acknowledged the prompt response of the President by sending ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ to flush out killer herdsmen from Benue and for visiting in quick succession with a view to fulfilling promises made to Benue people concerning the crisis.
Also speaking, Engr. Maihaja said it was the responsibility of government to reconstruct homes destroyed as a result of farmers and herdsmen crisis, resettle the displaced persons and to provide farm inputs as well as basic amenities according to the needs of the displaced communities.
“You would recall that the Vice President was here just few days ago and he made several promises, so in response to those promises, we have come here to inspect the facilities around so that we can plan adequately how to make provision for those facilities – resettlement and houses that need to be built for the displaced people,” the NEMA DG stated.