By Chesa Chesa
The National Boundary Commission (NBC) announced on Tuesday that it had begun preliminary work to properly demarcate the boundaries between the communities of Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi, and Agila, in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State.
The protracted contention between both neighbours has been source of bloody conflicts and loss lives for some years.
The latest of the efforts to resolve the issue was last September when a meeting of the Commission chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and attended by Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe, agreed on necessary logistics and security for the demarcation exercise.
Emerging from 10th board meeting of the commission at the Aso Rock Villa on Tuesday, Acting Director-General of the Commission, Adamu Adaji, told State House correspondents that the task would be diligently executed.
According to him “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 said that the Commission also 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.
“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”, he stated.
Adaji said that the promotion of staff of the Commission interviewed this year, among others also formed the crux of Tuesday’s closed-door meeting.
It further agreed on the need for proper advocacy, sensitization and seminars to educate Nigerians on the work of the NBC, and to make them 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,” he added.