It was a cloudy afternoon on the 8th of October 2021 in Makurdi, Benue state, when Mbaiorga Winifred had just stepped out of her makeshift home.  The previous night’s heavy rain had dismantled her makeshift home, a series of mosquito nets combined in a “cave-like form” to provide shelter for her and her five children.  “I was busy fixing my “Ihia-wam”- all through the day after being drenched the previous night. The weather was not my challenge.” Mbaiorga said.  “Ihia-wam” means “my house” in the Tiv language. She continued, “But I became terrified when I saw the cloud forming again. I knew my family, and I would be drenched again later that night.” Since the incident, life has never been easy for Mbaiorga and her family.  A few years ago, she could do menial jobs at the camp to fend for his children, but her strength has failed her.  “Since October, I have been feeling a very sharp headache coupled with general weakness of the body. Worse still, I began emaciating, and my body worsens daily.” Mbaiorga could not access any hospital even when some mobile health workers privately told her that she could have type II diabetes. The Back […]


Mike Ede, 56, from Opiruku, Oju Local Government Area of Benue State, North-central Nigeria, couldn’t believe that her ever fertile land that was a source of healthy products could reduce in nutrients as he stood looking at the piece of land.  “Only but a glorified farmland,” Ede’s thought betrayed him aloud as he tried hard to swallow the pain. Mr Ede wouldn’t have worried enough if only the trend is just on a piece of land, but across many farmlands in “Orihi” and “Iyato”- the two most fertile areas where foods are grown in the local government, at least that is accessible for him. “There were times all these places were full of trees and covered grasses, you could barely go through them because of the thickness of the grasses,” Mr. Ede explained. He continued, “At that time, a piece of land in this area can give you a double output increase especially if it’s cassava or yam, you could feel the nutrients.” As we speak, it is as dry as anything and the scorching sun around this place wouldn’t even allow you till the land.”  Mr. Ede is an established farmer in the Opiruku community whose annual income used […]


Residents of Makurdi, the Benue State Capital, are having low celebrations as they lament the undue cost of transportation from the state.  A development orchestrated by the high cost of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) has forced many to suspend their yearly travels. At Evergreen filling station in Wurukum makurdi, The middle-belt reporters observes that the price of fuel per litre is N280 while at  Westside filling station Kanshio, fuel had been sold between N300.  However,   black marketers continued to feast, as they pegged the price at  N400 and N450 average John Tavershima said he travels every year during the yuletide from Makurdi to Vandikiya to see her aged mother. In his words,  the transport fair has forced him to suspend the yearly routine. “traveling home yearly to see my mother who stays in Vandeikya has been suspended this year, due to a hundred percent increase in transport fare.   The previous year,  transport fares went between N1,500 and N2,000. However, this year is the worst.  travelers are paying N3,000 for the same trip.  trip” “I have decided to stay back and send cash to my mother though I never loved to do that I have no option this time” Another […]

On a cool evening in October 2021, Apev Iorliam, 27, alongside others, had just written their final examination as an undergraduate student at Benue State University, Makurdi. Mr Iorliam had promised himself what the final excitement would look like. He would, first of all, allow his parents to feel the euphoria of having a graduate in the family. Soon, he would be united with his family as an Industrial Chemistry graduate – or so he thought as he embarked on the journey from school. He wouldn’t stop smiling as the Peugeot car conveying him alongside others from Makurdi to Degu Gbinde accelerates.  At the other end, Apev Isaac, his father, was phoned by Benjamin Awen, Mr. Iorliam’s friend, earlier to inform him that his son is on his way home. They were preparing to receive him but the joyful anxiety was soon cut short. Mrs. Ngodoo Apev received a call from a bystander who saw her number as Mr Iorliam’s last dialed. Her beloved son is dead. “That was how my world came crashing within a second,” she said. “The pain was the highest I have witnessed in my life. It gets to me especially when I see corp members […]


Jairus Awo

Jairus Awo is a Nigeiran Muiltimedia public interest journalist. He believes in the power of the media as a catalyst to development and societal growth. You can tip him an idea on [email protected]

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