The Chairman of the National Boundary Commission, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) on Monday presided over of State Deputy Governors who are chairmen of the commissions in the states with a charge to handle land disputes with caution and maturity.
“We cannot stress this enough that land is an emotive issue, most times fatalities evolve from land disputes,” he told the meeting held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
According to Osinbajo, misunderstanding usually erupts from boundary disputes.
He said the meeting was convened to enable all stakeholders on boundary matters to understand fully the Act establishing the National Boundary Commission (NBC) and the roles they are expected to play to mediate in such disputes.
Osinbajo pointed out that politicians were in the habit of playing games with land and ignoring the people’s attachment and emotions to their ancestral land.
Persecondnews.com recalls that NBC was established in 1990 for controlling the activities at the borders the country shares with other countries as well as resolves boundary issues between states.
The Commission has intervened as the regulatory agency in amicably resolving boundary disputes which had resulted in communal clashes and deaths.
Osinbajo said: “The idea of this meeting is to discuss the Act, inter-state rancour and various misunderstandings which the Commission from time to time deals with, with the stakeholders.
“For instance we would jointly review the works of the Commission, we cannot stress this enough that land is an emotive issue, most times fatalities evolves from land disputes.
“There has to be an understanding of who has access to land because in some cases these are tied to ancestors. But these issues should not result in violence, in some cases resolving these disputes can only be done at the highest levels of governance.
“Let me remind us that we are not here to resolve any particular state border crisis, but perhaps this meeting will review how disputes can be settled without political interference because very often when politicians play games with lands it results in creating tensions.”
Persecondnews reports that Deputy Governors of Ogun, Oyo, Taraba, Yobe, Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, and Ondo states attended the closed-door meeting.
Also in attendance were some ministers: Mr Rauf Aregbesola (Interior), Mr Geoffery Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Defence) and regional members of the National Boundary Commission.