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FCT, Niger plan to end boundary dispute

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration and the Niger State government are working out details on how best to demarcate permanently the boundary between them to put an end to the lingering land dispute.

The move became necessary following the recent demolition of about 200 solid structures in the border town of Dakwa by authorities of the administration.

The decision to re-establish the boundary line between the two parties was reached at a meeting of representatives of governments of Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory at the weekend in Abuja.

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Director, FCT Administration Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, who hosted the meeting in Abuja, urged all parties, especially Chairman, Tafa Local Council, to suspend all developments in the disputed area pending determination of the exact boundary.

Niger State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Moukhtar Nasale, said that his state had to calm down nerves of the affected residents, even as he noted that there was no need for Niger and FCT to bicker over land, but rather maintain their cordial relationship, saying: “If any issue, we should talk about it.

“We got a distress call over the demolition exercise in Dakwa, as well as a report from Tafa Local Council, and due to the nature of the report, which appeared confrontational, the governor detailed the deputy governor to intervene.

“We talked to the residents to calm down and not take laws into their hands. Most of FCT land was donated by Niger State so no need for us to bicker over land.”

The commissioner also disclosed that there was a comprehensive boundary committee set up to resolve the matter and the committee would submit its report soon, adding that they were happy the FCTA suspended demolition exercise in Dakwa.

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He said: “We believe that the area falls under the jurisdiction of Niger State, and the FCT is saying the same thing. So, we are here to look at the grey areas before the committee concludes its findings.”

In his comments, Director, FCT Department of Survey, Muhammed Bashir Mahmood, countered, saying: “Dakwa was actually in the FCT, not Niger State.

“It is just that we have not gone round to trace the boundary. There are 17 pillars some of which must have been removed by developments. We will re-establish them and erect at intermediate points.”

Mahmood, while hinting on the possibility of compensating those who will likely be affected, urged all to keep six metres to three on either side of the boundary line.

The two parties, therefore, agreed to meet soon in Minna, Niger State, to finalise discussions and constitute a technical team that would trace the boundary and clear the confusion.

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FCTMuktar Galadima
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