By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja – The National Boundary Commission is working towards resolving the lingering boundary dispute between Benue and Ebonyi states, its Acting Director-General, Mr Adamu Adaji, has said.
Adaji spoke with State House correspondents after the commission’s 10th board meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that the commission had started demarcating the border between the two states as directed by the vice president and the governors of the two states.
“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.’’
On the boundary dispute between Ebonyi and Cross River states, Adaji said that the commission was also intervening in the matter.
He said it had been agreed that some measures should be taken.
“ We are in contact with the states to ensure that agreements are adhered to; we plan to carry out a complete ethnographic survey along the boundaries, in fact all the communities along the boundary.
“We have also agreed that a monitoring team of security personnel will be constituted to ensure peaceful co-existence while we resume activities of trying to define the boundaries.’’
He said that the meeting was successful as it considered the promotion of staffs that were interviewed for 2019 promotion.
Adaji said that the meeting also looked at the status of all of the inter-state boundaries of Nigeria.
The acting director-general said that the meeting discussed the importance of attending to internal boundaries because of their security implications.
“Also, the meeting agreed that there is need for proper advocacy, sensitisation and seminars to educate people on the work of the commission and the essence of boundaries as the administrative limits of states as against the perception of traditional boundaries.
“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.
“ Our work on international boundary is just to define the boundary,’’ he said.
Osinbajo had recently met with Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue and David Umahi of Ebonyi with a view to resolving the boundary dispute between the two states.
Two communities- Agila in Ado Local Government area of Benue and Ngbo community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi have been embroiled in a lingering land dispute.