Top Benue State News Headlines
A former member of the House of Representatives and first son of Chief Joseph Sarwuan Tarka, a foremost Nigerian nationalist, minority rights activist and President General of the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC), Hon Simeon Mbakorkaa Tarka has passed on in Benue.
Concise News reports that a spokesman for the Tarka family, Chris Tarka said in a statement on Friday that Hon Simeon Tarka attended a political meeting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, and precisely in the house of Emmanuel Manger, a Commissioner in the state when he suddenly became indisposed.
According to the statement, he was rushed to the hospital where he was confirmed dead. Hon Simeon Tarka attended Saint John’s College Kaduna from where he proceeded to an American University for further studies. Upon Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1979, he put his studies on hold and returned to Nigeria to join his father in politics.
They were all members of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). In the elections of 1979, he emerged as the youngest member to be elected into the House of Representatives while his father was elected Senator. His father was also a Federal Commissioner during the reigns of General Yakubu Gowon as Head of State.
Concise News reports that the Benue State Coordinator of the programme Debam Terhemba discloses this during a presentation of a 2019 report on the intervention on the diseases in the state at the Benue State NTDs 2019 Annual Review and Planning Meeting in Makurdi the Benue State capital.
According to him, the endemic diseases include Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthes and Trachoma. He explains that the NTDs are group of communicable parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases affecting the poorest and marginalised populations in rural and urban areas, having various clinical complications such as hydrocele and anaemia, with severe socio-economic consequences.
“These diseases if not taken care of result in blindness, disability, stigmatization, exclusion and are often lives threatening at later stages” he states. The Benue State NTDs Coordinator notes that NTDs rank among the top four most devastating groups of communicable disease along with diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS & lower respiratory infections.
He advances five key strategies enunciated by World Health Organisation (WHO) for addressing and tackling NTDs to include preventive chemotherapy (PCT), innovative/intensive disease management, veterinary public health services, integrated vector control and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Therefore, Debam calls for the strengthening of inter-sector collaboration, intensive advocacy to key stakeholders so as to secure their commitment and support as well as a report of suspected cases of IDM NTDs and morbidities management cases to the state for forwarding to WHO, UNICEF, SS & FMOH for the eradication of the diseases.
In his remarks, the Director of Public Health in the state Dr Terna Kur commends NTDs programme for its intervention in the area in order to ensure that the diseases are eradicated. According to Dr Kur, the Benue State Government is determined to carry all the stakeholders around in its efforts to ensuring access to healthcare delivery to the people of the state.
While appreciating participants at the annual review and planning meeting Dr Kur also encourages them to ensure that nothing is left behind to sustain NTDs programme in the state.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of NTDs Dr Chukwuma Anyieke also urges participants to strive to eliminate the diseases in the state and Nigeria.
Dr Anyieke, who was represented by the North Central Coordinator of the programme, Tukur Muhammed Ali commends those involved in the implementation of the programme in the state for the good work they have done and expresses hope that they will do better this year.
The Caretaker Chairman of Wukari LGA, Daniel Adi has alleged that the killers in fresh attacks by suspected Tiv militias on Jukun villages in Taraba State “are coming from Benue State and is like the Benue State government is fighting Wukari Local Government in particular.”
Concise News reports that at least five persons have been reportedly killed in the attack.
Adi divulges that about 11 persons are still missing as a result of the attacks which happened on Friday morning.
Local officials say they occurred in Rafinkada and Kente in Wukari in the southern part of the state.
The tragic turn of events came barely two weeks after the deputy governors of Taraba and Benue states met in Wukari after which they issued a communiqué that the crisis between the two groups had been resolved.
Confirming the attacks, Adi, says the attackers also set ablaze many houses in Rafinkada and Kente.
“Rafinkada and Kente were on fire this morning and five people are suspected to have been killed by the Tiv militias. The casualty figures may rise.
“All these people are coming from Benue State and is like the Benue State government is fighting Wukari Local Government in particular.”
However, he notes that with the latest attacks, the total number of victims of killings allegedly ‘executed’ by Tiv ethnic militias had risen to 40 people.
“With today’s attack, over 40 people have been killed in recent time by these Tiv militias based on figures available.
“Enough is enough! We will defend ourselves now because we have been pushed to the wall.”
Meanwhile, Zando Hoku, a Jukun youth leader in the area, also spoke on the incident.
“In the early hours of today, the Tiv people in large numbers, working on their numerical strength, besieged our two communities of Rafinkada and Kente. We had earlier repelled their attack but they came back this morning.
“We have been defending for quite a long time, they have been coming to attack our villages and the government has not done anything to stop the conflict,” he says.
However, Orbee Uchiv a Tiv spokesperson in the state says he had no knowledge of the attacks.
“But you know they (Jukuns) have been recently attacking our villages in Wukari areas. More than 20 people were killed in different attacks. The whole of my village, Ikyaior, was burnt by Jukuns. My ultra-modern school with 50 computers, well-equipped science laboratory, library, an administrative block, blocks of classrooms, etc were looted and others totally razed down, recently.
“As I said earlier, let me confirm on today’s fight because I am not aware of it,’’ Uchiv says.
That’s all for today on the latest Benue State news headlines update. Do enjoy the rest of your day.