AFRICA/NIGERIA - Bishop of Pankahin: “We must enable displaced people to return to their homes”

Monday, 4 March 2024 displaced persons   violence   bishops  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "The government must intervene to help displaced people return to their homes", said Bishop Michael Gobal Gokum of Pankshin, in the central Nigerian state of Plateau, in his homily on Sunday March 3. "As we are all aware, communities in Plateau have come under series of attacks in recent past and these attacks brought about increasing humanitarian crisis in the state", he stressed.
As a result of the violence, many people have fled, which means that the residents have found refuge elsewhere," emphasized Bishop Gokum, who launched an appeal on behalf of the displaced people. "I am using this medium to call on the federal government to urgently come to the aid of these people; they are not finding it easy".
The bishop added: "From my interactions with many of them, I realise that they are eager to return to their homes, so government should expedite action to enable them return to their original apode."
In Plateau state, Nigeria, between December 23 and 26, coordinated attacks on around 20 villages killed around 200 people and injured another 500, while at least 200 families were forced to leave their homes and take shelter in camps for displaced people (see Fides, 2/1/2024).
Recent violence in Plateau State occurred in Mangu, Bokkos and Barkin Ladi LGA, leaving several people dead and dozens displaced. Among the victims is a former member of Parliament from Plateau. He is Sunday Malo Muchen, who was kidnapped from his home in Bokkos on February 28th and found dead on March 2nd. According to the latest government data, more than 200,000 people have been affected by the violence in Plateau State. Of these, over 34,000 are displaced people living in emergency shelters, including religious institutions and schools. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/3/2024)