The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday confirmed that hundreds of Nigerians from Ogun State are currently refugees in the Republic of Benin, forced to leave their homes by the dreaded Fulani herdsmen.
Nigerian citizens from Ogun West towns of Asa,Oho Agbooro, Moro, Ibeku and Agbon Ojodu, were forced from their homestead by Fulani herdsmen that killed and maimed them. The ones who are lucky escaped to the Pobe area of Republic of Benin where the Benin government resettled them in refugee camps.
The Senator representing Ogun West, Tolu Odebiyi, in a motion introduced the matter in the Senate on Wednesday as he asked the Federal government to relocate and resettle the displaced Nigerians back to their state.
Odebiyi said Ogun could not be left with the task of resettling the displaced residents. “Many communities, namely (but not limited to) Asa, Oho Agbooro, Moro, Ibeku and Agbon Ojodu, were affected by the criminal activities of these suspected herdsmen,” he said.
“The countless attacks by these criminal elements have forced many residents of these areas have deserted and relocated to a refugee camp in the Pobe area of Benin Republic in search of safety, with many of them forced to live in very unfavourable conditions in the refugee camps.
“The state government alone, can not be left with the onerous task of resettling these displaced citizens, hence, the need for support from the Federal government to effectively return the affected citizens back to their various communities.
“If the Benin Republic that is a neighbour to Nigeria could accommodate Nigerians, give them food and set up a refugee camp for them, Nigeria needs to positively step up on how we treat our citizens who are victims of an internally induced crisis.”
The Senate thereafter called on the Federal Government to relocate them back after the motion was adopted after it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
The Senate also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the humanitarian affairs ministry, and the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) to provide relief for the affected persons.