No fewer than 19 young girls have been reportedly raped at four of the designated resettlement camps established for flood victims in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Vanguard Newspaper investigations revealed that rape cases have become a daily occurrence in the four official camps spread across the state capital for flood victims.
It was also gathered that perpetrators of the unholy act were young men who reside in the camps with their victims and some who come from within the communities where the camps are situated.
From Wurukum to Saint Catherine and Wadata camps, it was the same sad story. One of the victims, a girl of 19 who craved anonymity disclosed that she was raped two days ago at about 10pm by a young man she couldn’t identify.
She said: “I just walked back into the camp after I had visited a former neighbour in town. I got into the camp that evening, while walking towards the classrooms where we sleep, somebody called my name from a dark spot.
“I tried to find out who it was, but before I knew what was happening, somebody grabbed me from behind and threatened that he would stab me to death if I shouted. He grabbed me down and raped me.
“I am not the only one they have done this to, there are so many other girls; there are over 19 of us that have been raped in the last few days, but we are all hiding it because of the shame, but if we don’t cry out we will not get help because we are helpless.”
“And if we don’t cry out because of the shame, the people behind this evil acts will continue to torment girls and women in the camps.”
When contacted, the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, for Benue State, Assistant Suprintendent of Police Ejike Alaribe said the rape cases have not been brought to the notice of the Police.
Alaribe, however, assured that the Police would intensify its surveillance around the camps in the town to stem the unhealthy development.
FG registers 88,740 IDPs in three states
ABUJA— As President Goodluck Jonathan rounds off the first leg of his nationwide tours of flood affected states, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has confirmed the registration of 88740 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Adamawa, Benue and Taraba states.
According to a statement by NEMA and signed by Head, Public Relations, Alhaji Yushau A. Shuaib, in Abuja, the IDPs were registered by emergency and rescue workers after the floods that submerged houses and washed away farmlands.
The statement said: ”In Adamawa State which was worst hit, emergency workers recorded 46,030 Internally Displaced Persons in seven affected local government councils.
“In Benue State 19505 IDPs were recorded from six affected local government councils, while in Taraba, the emergency workers registered 23,205 IDPs in camps that are spread in seven local government councils of the state.”
Shuaib noted that NEMA officials had collaborated with major stakeholders, especially respective State Emergency Management Agencies, SEMAs, response agencies, Red Cross Society and recognised volunteers in the establishment and management of the camps where the IDPs were temporarily accommodated.
He said relief materials had also been provided to the victims.