United Nations Development Programme Set to transform Agatu.
The United Nations Development Programme on Tuesday, 2nd April 2019 has assured Agatu people who were badly affected by the herdsmen attacks of total transformation which will commence soonest.
The Programme Manager, Peace Project UNDP, Kehinde Osotimehin disclosed this at Obagaji Agatu, Agatu Local Government Headquarters when she led delegation to the local government to seek suggestions from the people on what exactly the people wanted them to do that would make them happy.
According to her, UNDP were looking at five major areas such as;
Peace Projects, Community Protection, Examining National Frame Work, Peace Building and Livelihood.
She further stated that, aside Agatu Local Government, UNDP would visit four other Local Government Areas in Benue State.
In his speech, Assistant Representative Programme UNDP, Ahmed Matene, stated that, they came to Agatu to liaise with them and get suggestions on what exactly they prefer UNDP to do for them since they had not designed particular projects for the people. According to him, such projects should be of benefits to the herdsmen incase there were any of them living in Agatu. He then threw the chance to the people to bring up suggestions immediately which the people did and came up with requests.
In view of that, Hon John Anthony Ikwulono, Supervisory Councillor for Finance and Appropriation Agatu Local Government Council who was delegated to speak onbehalf of the Executive, listed the followings, saying, they would be of great benefit for the people. The items listed by Ikwulono onbehalf of the Executive included;
-Building of Houses for the victims of herdsmen attacks.
-Provision of Ranches to enable herdsmen ranch their cows in one place to avoid destruction of farm products, since UNDP agitated for things that could be of benefit to herdsmen too if there were any who still reside in the area.
-Provision of Road Network
-Building of Mobile barracks around Zone A axis which were the worst hit by herdsmen attacks.
-Provision of Mars to facilitate telecommunication network in areas where there are no network such as Okokolo and other villages.
Ikwulono assured the UNDP delegation of maximum support of Agatu people pre, during and after the commencement of the projects. He equally told the delegation that Agatu youths would make themselves available for training in any skills acquisition project that may be introduced by UNDP.
Also speaking, Chief Odum, who spoke onbehalf of the Traditional Rulers added the suggestions made by the Traditional Council which include the following;
Provision of water, construction of Hospitals, building of Army barracks and provision of relief materials.
Earlier in his address, the Acting Chairman Agatu Local Government Council, Hon Alhaji Oyigocho expressed happiness over the visit of UNDP to Agatu at a time like this. The Council Boss appealed to the delegation to look into the requests made by Agatu people and do everything humanly possible to put smiles on the faces of Agatu people to compliments the good thing governor Ortom has been doing for the people. Hon Oyigocho said if not for the tireless efforts of the Benue State Governor, nobody would have been staying in Agatu currently, this according to Council Chairman was done by the governor through the establishment of anti-open grazing law and constant security and reconciliatory meetings with the people as well as herders.
He said they would protect and guide jealously, any project brought to them by UNDP.
The Ad’Agatu HRH Chief Dr Godwin Ngbede Onah who gave vote of thanks, appreciated the delegation for remembering Agatu in their Agenda adding that, for putting smiles on the faces of the people, God Almighty would bless them.
The Assistant Representative Programme UNDP, Ahmed Matene later declared that, due to the limited resources they had, UNDP would only build houses for the victims of Fulani Herdsmen attacks, bring empowerment to the people and provide relief materials for the good people of Agatu adding that, other organizations would equally come to the aid of Agatu people for other things Agatu may have requested but UNDP could not do all and the good thing was that, Agatu is on the World map and would soon get attention of others.