Benue Killings: NGO mobilizes survivors back to abandoned income sources2 min read
Emancipation Centre for Crisis Victims in Nigeria, a nongovernmental organization headquartered in Jos, the capital of Plateau State has distributed hybrid crop seeds with additional cash support to displaced victims of violent attacks in Benue State.
About 500 civilian natives of the State’s Agatu Local Government Area were killed in series of attacks in 2016, reports say.
Over 7000 people, mainly women and children were reportedly displaced. The donation, the NGO’s Chief Executive Officer, Barrister Solomon Dalyop said was to help the survivors resume farming, their main source of income abandoned during the displacements.
“We donated improved rice and soybeans seeds with some cash token to help them acquire fertilizer and other farm inputs and resume their agricultural activities which were truncated by the aggression of the Fulani herdsmen,” Solomon told MK.
Hundreds of humanitarian donations had previously reached the conflict survivors, but none like the ECCVN’s, Mr. James Ochoche Edoh, the Paramount Chief of Agatu said.
“Before you, many people and organizations have come here and made various donations to us; but this is something I am seeing for the first time,” said the Chief.
It is the best thing to ever happen to the villagers, Edoh said. It is “teaching them to catch fish instead of giving them fish to eat,” he stated.
During the recent lockdown for the control of covid-19 in the State, government and nongovernmental organizations provided palliatives to vulnerable groups. However, the one-off donations hardly sustained families for days.
“Once you eat, you start to wonder how to get another one,” said a female IDP, Mrs. Esther James.
The locals most of whom were doing well until the attacks needed something more sustainable to regain their economic strength, youth leader of the community, James Samuel said.
The ECCVN’s intervention – “not just palliatives for one to eat and sleep, but palliatives that could last a life time,” is “most exciting,” said a local Board of Trustee Member, Gabriel Ad’Ofikwu.
ECCVN has since 2018 been working to help poor victims of violent conflicts get access to justice, humanitarian and psychosocial support for easy recovery.
The Centre has established legal teams and representatives in different locations which are often deployed to support victims of violence and human right abuses.