By Cecilia Ijuo
Akwanga – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has distributed relief materials to more than 2000 victims of gunmen attacks in Nasarawa State.
Mr Mustapha Maihaja, NEMA Director-General, represented by Mr Kayode Fagbeni, Director, Relief Planning Research and Forecasting, made the presentation on Sunday in Akwanga.
Three communities, Numan-Kuchu, Mente and Nidan in Akwanga Local Government Areas of Nasarawa State, were on March 28 and April 14 attacked by suspected gunmen.
The attacks left no fewer than 18 persons dead, several property lost and more than 2000 persons rendered homeless.
Presenting the relief materials, Fagbemi said the action was prompted by the level of damage done during the attacks.
“There were conflicts, lives were lost and property destroyed. When it happened, the Senate asked NEMA to intervene.
“We sent our representatives here to carry out assessment of the damage and after the assessment, the President through NEMA brought relief materials to the victims.
“The relief materials are, 1000 pieces of blanket, 1000 pieces of nylon mat, 1000 pieces of wax print, 100 cartoons of toilet soap, 150 cartoons of detergent and 750 pieces of treated mosquito nets
“Others are 250 pieces of women’s foot wears, 500 pairs of men’s wears, 500 pairs of children’s wears, 300 bags of rice, 50 bags of granulated, 100 tin cartoons tomatoes, 370 bundles of roofing sheets, 600 bags of cement.
“We also brought 80 bags of three inch nail, 120 packet of zinc nails, 600 pieces of ceiling board, 50 bags of millet and 50 bags of maize,” he said.
The director noted that the materials would be distributed directly to the victims.
He said the distribution will be carried out by NEMA officials, Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA), local government officials, representatives of the traditional ruler and that of Sen. Philip Gyunka.
He urged them to be transparent in the distribution and prayed God to avert such occurrence in future.
Responding, Mr Samuel Gamu-Yare, the Chun-Mada and Chairman Traditional Council of Akwanga, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate and other stakeholders for their support.
“Our sincere appreciation the president and the senate, who through one of us, Sen. Gyunka, called on NEMA to send relief materials to cushion the effect of the devastating situation.
“To NEMA for the prompt action as well as to the Fulani community for their tireless efforts to ensure that peace is restored, I say thank you.
“This is the first time the Mada land is experiencing this type of carnage. Mada land has been the most peaceful and most friendly environment,” he said.
The traditional ruler urged the committee handling distribution to do so with a high sense of responsibility by ensuring they attended the target audience.
He called on the affected communities to embrace tolerance and forgiveness, while hoping that such would not repeat itself as the people returned home to continue with their farming activities.
Sen. Gyunka(PDP-Nasarawa) expressed his appreciation for NEMA’s prompt response.
He said : “when the incident occurred, I moved a motion in plenary and based on this, the FG acted promptly by carrying out assessment during public holiday and today the relief materials have been released.
“We sincerely thank the Federal Government, the Senate, media and other stakeholders for their support.”
The lawmaker, who is Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts called for peace in the affected communities.
The Chairman, Akwanga Local Government Area, Mr Samuel Meshi expressed joy over the intervention.
He said the relief materials, particularly the roofing sheets, would provide succour to the affected persons, while giving them confidence to return to their communities.
He prayed for peace to return to the state and the country as a whole.
He called for security to be beefed up in the communities, adding that “security agents have been deployed to those areas but we need mobility for them to move round the villages.