Enugu: The National Boundary Commission (NBC) has embarked on a series of sensitization and advocacy campaign to promote sustainable peace, security and development in border communities in Nigeria.
Ag. Director General of the NBC, Surv. Adamu Adaji said that it has become imperative for the Commission to step up its campaign from zone to zone, state to state and community to community and carry out activities that would engender peace whilst reducing conflicts in neighbouring border communities.
Addressing participants at the 2-day interactive session of the National Boundary Commission and the States Boundary Committees held in Enugu, Adaji said the sensitization and advocacy campaign was an integral part of the NBC’s activities used in re-engineering and reawakening boundary manager’s interests to their responsibilities in the definition and management of boundaries in Nigeria.
“To restrict the dangers of boundary conflicts in the zone, the NBC will do all within its means to strengthen efforts with critical stakeholders in the three tiers of government to reduce boundary clashes”
Delivering her keynote address, deputy governor of Enugu state, Barr. Cecilia Ezeilo attributed boundary disputes in the South-East to the way and manner in which boundary lines were extended for the purpose of land acquisition.
She therefore enjoined participants at the meeting to exhibit commitments on the boundary issues by bringing their experiences and wealth of knowledge to bear in the discharge of their duties.
Some of the recommendations reached at the end of the meeting include, that the states in the South-East zone and their respective neighbours should embrace the principle of give and take.
The NBC was urged to rely on specific/relevant court judgments, land litigations, land arbitration documents, maps, boundary description, gazettes and legal notices in the demarcation process.
Participants were also encouraged to employ dialogue in the settlement of boundary issues.
The meeting further called on the various state governments to treat boundary issues with utmost priority as well as to adequately fund state boundary committees to enable them carry out sensitization and enlightenment campaign to highlight the need for peaceful coexistence amongst border communities amongst other recommendations.
Mukurdi: In continuation of the fulfilment of its mandate, the National Boundary Commission convoked a Joint Meeting of Official (JMO) at Makurdi, the Benue state capital in its efforts towards the realization and implementation of the Presidential directives on the Benue/Ebonyi interstate boundary.
The Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is also the chairman of the National Boundary Commission, in September last year had directed the NBC to work with the States to provide the necessary logistic and security for the demarcation of the Benue/Ebonyi boundaries to end the protracted dispute between the people of Ngbo in Ohaukwu local government area of Ebonyi state and their neighbours, Agila in Ado LGA of Benue state.
Speaking at the meeting the Ag. Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Suvr. Adamu Adaji stated that the NBC had taken far reaching steps towards the implementation of the Presidential directives in order to fast track the demarcation of the boundaries so as to restore lasting peace and thereby attract development to the affected communities.
Adaji lamented that several previous efforts by the government had not yielded the desired result because of the lack of cooperation from the people, he therefore called on the neighboring border communities to imbibe the spirit of oneness and allow work to go on unhindered to ensure that the demarcation is carried out as quickly as possible stressing that boundary line is not a division line but only a pointer to administrative authorities.
The meeting which was presided over by the Ag DG of the NBC, had the Deputy Governors of both Benue, Engr. Benson Abounu and Ebonyi state, Barr. Kelechi Igwe, the Representative of the Surveyor- General of the federation and other critical stakeholders in attendance.
Abuja: In its sustained efforts to ensure peaceful resolution of interstate boundary conflicts in Nigeria, the National Boundary Commission has continued to hold Joint Meetings with Officials of various interstate boundary Committees to work out modalities that will foster peace amongst border communities.
The latest of such meetings was held recently in Abuja between the officials of Imo/Rivers interstate boundary committees.
According to the Ag. Director General of the Commission, the joint meeting of officials of Imo/River was geared towards the resuscitation of actions on boundary and review of the status of the previous actions and plan on the best way towards fast tracking the boundary definition process.
Surv. Adaji noted that the Commission had made concerted attempts in the past to define the boundaries but these attempts were unfortunately stalled by unforeseen circumstances adding that the major challenge to the definition has largely been attributive to the resources in the contentious boundaries.
The meeting resolved amongst other things that physical tracing of the boundary be resuscitated forthwith without any further delay.
The meeting also urged both states to resubmit all relevant documents relating to the boundary to the Commission not later than April 3 for scrutinization and authentication.
The scrutinization and authentication exercise will span a 3 day period between 6-8 April and thereafter there will be a joint sensitization campaign in the affected border communities from 15-22 while field work is expected to commence on April 27.
The field exercise is projected to last for two months.
The meeting had in attendance both deputy governors of Imo and Rivers states who are also the chairmen of their respective state’s boundary committees Prof. Placid Njoku and Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo and Surv. Adeyemi Adebomehin, representative of the Surveyor General of the Federation.
The deputy governors pledged their respective states cooperation and supports towards the quick definition of the boundary even as they called on the NBC to expedite actions towards effecting the correction of the defects of the 10th edition of the administrative map of Nigeria.