*Photo:The President of Plateau State Association, USA, Inc., (PSA-USA), Dr Bartholomew Shepkong, during the donation of relief materials to the internally displaced persons in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State on Friday.*
A Diaspora group, under the auspices of Plateau State Association, USA, Inc., (PSA-USA), has donated relief materials to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bokkos Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.
*Some of the relief materials donated to the internally displaced persons in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau on Friday by Plateau State Association, USA, Inc., (PSA-USA).*
The Public Relations Officer of PSA-USA, Francisca Keyen, made the statement available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.
She said the President of the association, Dr Bartholomew Shepkong, embarked on a first-hand assessment visit to the Central IDP Camp on Friday.
Keyen said food items, consisting of bags of rice, vegetable oil, flour and other valuables, were distributed to the displaced at the camp situated at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN Central).
The group’s President, Dr Shepkong, during the assessment visit, expressed surprise at the level of condition the victims of the violent attacks were subjected to.
“I wish to offer to you our deepest condolences at PSA-USA over what has happened because it is inhumane and at the same time it bothers us; those in the Diaspora as we have brothers and sisters back at home.
“As a matter of fact, one of us was affected because seven of his cousins were killed, and so you can imagine how much it hurts,” he said.
He was hopeful that in no distant time, the period of trial would be over.
According to him, I think it’s just a matter of time that everybody will definitely be all right.
“We have to be here to offer our support, to let you know that we, as an organisation, are always thinking about you and we’ll continue to do our best to offer the assistance that we can,” he said.
Former LGA Chairman of Bokkos and member of the IDP Support Committee, Mr Zakka Akos, informed that the situation was not only in Bokkos.
According to him, we have this situation in Mangu as well but the staff here are not resting at all as they constantly have to ensure they attend to the needs of the people.
“Our people prefer to stay in their homes ordinarily, but the homes are not safe at all and we can’t afford to take them back home when the enemies are still lurking around,” he said.
Chairman of the IDP Support Committee, Rev. Mandong Bitrus, thanked the PSA-USA for their thoughtfulness and support.
He said there were about 13 IDP camps and that no fewer than 6,000 displaced persons were recorded with the exception of those seeking shelter in the homes of their relatives.
“And the total number of people that have been dislodged from 32 different communities of Bokkos is about 19,000,” he added.
Bitrus said they streamlined the aid to those whose houses were destroyed and looted and had nothing to hold on to “and we’re still collecting statistics.”
He also appealed for more support and attention from spirited individuals to assist with food items and roofing materials as the houses of displaced persons would need to be rebuilt when the situation is brought under considerable control.
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Bokkos LGA, Rev. Steven Saleh, thanked the PSA-USA for the uncommon brotherliness displayed.
He advised that the same act be conveyed to all other members in the Diaspora.
“It is a fact that whoever visits you in time of trouble is your own. I have no doubt that PSA-USA has earned a special place in the hearts of our people.
“May God repay you in great measure for your show of support to the brothers and sisters in need for no fault of theirs,” he said.
Other members of the IDP Support Committee at the event include Mr. Steven Manshigil, secretary; Ms. Sarah Danchin, member of the Red Cross and Ms. Victoria Jeremiah, committee member.(NAN)