Journalism of Courage

Commission begins work on Benue, Ebonyi boundary demarcation


The National Boundary Commission has disclosed that preliminary work has begun to facilitate the demarcation of boundaries to end the protracted dispute between the people of Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi and their neighbours Agila, in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State.


Acting Director-General of the Commission, Adamu Adaji, who spoke with State House Correspondents after the 10th Board Meeting of the Commission chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said panel members were poised to follow the directive religeously.


“The last meeting between the vice president and governors of the two states directed that we should resume the demarcation that was stalled for many years now and we have started action accordingly.


“We have met at technical level to identify the number of beacons as permanent markers that are required and what we need to do preparatory to the field work.  We have come out with a programme.


“We will discuss with the states at a joint meeting of officials that will be scheduled very soon.”


Adaji further explained that the Commission has planned to carry out a complete ethnographic survey along the boundary communities in Ebonyi and Cross River states to resolve the dispute between the two states.


He said that the last meeting of the Commission agreed on some measures to be taken to resolve the dispute.


“We are in contact with the states to ensure that agreements are adhered with.


“We have also agreed that a monitoring team of security personnel will be constituted to ensure peaceful co-existence while resume activities of trying to define the boundaries.”


Adaji said Board agreed on the need for proper advocacy, sensitization and seminars to educate people on the work of the NBC.


He said this was necessary to enable Nigerians understand the essence of boundaries as the administrative limits of states as against the perception of traditional boundaries.


“We also looked at the status of all of the inter-state boundaries of Nigeria, and the meeting discussed the importance of attending to internal boundaries of this country because of their security implications.


“We are talking about the limits of the states and the limits of Nigeria as a nation.


“When we talk about limits, we talk about the boundary between Nigeria and our neighbours of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic and the internal boundaries between states and local governments.”


Adaji said the promotion of staff of the Commission interviewed this year among others also formed the crux of their closed door meeting in the presidential villa,  Abuja.


Recall that members of the commission had during its meeting in September took far reaching decisions on the matter, with a view to put a finality to the reported killings in the area including a programme to aid the demarcation of the disputed boundaries between the two states.


The meeting which was attended by Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe, had directed the authorities of the NBC to work with the states to provide the necessary logistics and security for the demarcation exercise.

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