Boundary Commission says, Benue Taraba crisis to be over soon
The National Boundary Commission (NBC) says the interstate boundary crisis between communities in Taraba and Benue would soon be over.
Mr Adamu Adaji, the Acting Director-General of the Commission, made this know during his opening remark at the Joint Meeting of officials on the Benue and Taraba inter-state boundary, on Thursday in Abuja.
Adaji said Benue and Taraba shared common cultural and historical antecedence, adding that boundary conflict had created bad blood between them.
He said that boundary dispute between Benue and Taraba dated back to 1976 when Gongola was created.
According to him, the then Wukari Division made up of Wukari, Takum and Donga Local Administrative Areas were carved out of Benue and merged with Sardauna and Adamawa Provinces to form the new state
“The good news is that the present administration, at both the Federal and State levels, are committed and determine to bring the impasse to a permanent end.
“Between 1994 to 1997, progress was made on tracing and demarcation of the boundary but was truncated by crisis and security challenges. Same thing again happened between 2005 and 2008.
“NBC, Benue and Taraba Government held several meetings and the Technical Committee comprising of members from the Commission, Benue and Taraba brought out recommendations to resolve the issues.
“Soon, the boundary between Benue and Taraba will be demarcated with 200 main pillars which will be done between February and June 2020.
“The segment of the boundary is categorised as a. Logo/Wukari and Ukum/Wukari sectors b. Katsina-Ala/Wukari and c. Katsina-Ala/Takum sectors and finally Kwande/Takum sector.
“We shall also sensitise border communities to understand that demarcation is not to encourage war but rather to indicate limits for administrative convenience,” Adaji said.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Governor of Taraba, Mr Haruna Manu, said that the unclear nature of the border between Benue and Taraba had led to a lot of crises in the past.
He said there were efforts by the Taraba Government to ensure that peace returned to the border communities in the two states, adding that the Benue Government had also done well to restore peace.
“This joint meeting to ensure proper demarcation is a golden opportunity for the two states and NBC to bring to a permanent end to crisis caused by border issues.
“I want to assure you that after the demarcation of the boundary and a Tiv person finds himself or herself in Taraba, such a person remain indigene of Taraba.
“He or she will not be sent back to Benue and will enjoy the full rights of indigene of Taraba,” Manu said.
Similarly, the Deputy Governor of Benue, Mr Benson Abounum, said there is a need for effective advocacy to the border communities, stressing that they needed to understand the essence of the demarcation.
He noted that the demarcation with beacons were not about a dividing wall between Benue and Taraba but rather for effective political and socioeconomic administration.
“What we need now is to get our people to agree to the demarcation. If beacons at put at the border and people are not enlightened, they will remove the beacons, so there is need for advocacy and agreement by the two side.
“The seriousness of the governments of Benue and Taraba saw them engaging in several meetings to ensure that the border crisis between the two-state become a thing of the past.
“The Benue and Taraba Government and the border communities need to be committed to the course of peace that the demarcation will bring,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria report that the event brought together traditional rulers from the border communities in Benue and Taraba, state government officials, Local Government Chairmen and officials from the NBC and Office of the Surveyor-General.
After the meeting, a communique would be released to intimate the public on the next step to take to solve the border crisis between the two states.
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