The Executive Secretary of the Benue State Management Agency ( SEMA), Emmanuel Shior, has denied allegations that he embezzled the N200 million donated by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, to Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) in the state.
The state’s Publicity Secretary of the APC, James Orguga, had in a press statement, challenged the SEMA boss to account for the donations by Wike, and other relief materials donated in wake of herdsmen attack on farmers, which forced many victims into IDP camps.
But reacting, through his media aide, Moses Nongo, the SEMA boss dismissed the allegations stating that the N200 million donation by Wike has been judiciously utilised.
“The N200 million donated by Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike, to cater for the IDPs has been judiciously utilised for the purpose it was meant. Mr Shior and no one embezzled any kobo.
“We challenge anyone with proof to the contrary to step forward with it. Thousands of those displaced by herders’ invasion of their communities are still in various camps across the state. The money in question has been used in the procurement of food and non-food relief materials meant for their upkeep,” said Shior.
According to him, “It takes a lot of money to cater for the basic needs of thousands of the displaced on a daily basis, such that, the amount is enormous when it becomes weeks and months.
On the allegation that the Vice President (VP), Professor Yemi Osinbajo, made a cash donation to SEMA, when he visited the state, he said the VP did not make any such donation.
Shior emphasised that Osinbajo only promised on behalf of the Federal Government, to provide other forms of relief including the construction of resettlement housing units, for the displaced persons in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas.
“The general public should also be informed that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, did not also make any cash donation to SEMA when he visited the state and celebrated the 2018 Children’s Day with displaced children at Abagena IDP camp. “What he pledged to do was to construct two classrooms blocks for the displaced children who were attending lessons in makeshift classrooms. This he has done and a visit to the Abagena IDPs camp will leave no one in doubt about this.
”We wish to state that the Benue State Emergency Management Agency has never distributed relief materials to IDPs privately. Distribution is carried out in the public glare sometimes with coverage by different media houses.
“What is raising eyebrows is why the Benue State APC would wait until a ban on political activities at IDPs camps was pronounced before coming up with allegations of diversion of relief materials and embezzlement of funds donated to SEMA by organisations and people of goodwill.
“The Benue State Government under Governor Ortom is spending huge sums of monies to provide basic relief for the IDPs and we at SEMA will not waver no matter the attempts to disparage and discourage us,” said Shior.
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