FG wades into Benue, Ebonyi boundary dispute
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with the Governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom and Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe, in the bid to end the age-long boundary dispute between the people of Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Council of Ebonyi State and their neighbours in Agila, in Ado Local Council of Benue State.
Ortom, who addressed State House Correspondents after their closed door meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the meeting, which included officials of the National Boundary Commission, took far-reaching decisions on the matter with a view to put a finality to the reported killings in the area.
He said that a demarcation exercise would soon be carried out by the Federal Government to stop the protracted conflict.
“We are also here with the acting Director-General (DG) of National Boundary Commission and we had taken far-reaching decisions to ensure that we demarcate the boundary between these two states so that we can hold our people responsible,” he said.
Ortom, who attributed the prevailing tension at the border to the activities of criminal elements operating in the affected areas, said: “Very soon, the boundary commission would be coming out with a programme that both Benue and Ebonyi states will team up to provide the necessary logistics and security to ensure that the boundary is demarcated.
He dismissed insinuations of a conflict between Benue and Taraba states, saying that the untoward development was purely a Taraba affair between indigenes that are aboriginal residents of the area.He said: “This is largely Tiv and Jukun in Taraba. I have Jukun in Benue State. We are not fighting.
“There were issues in the past and I decided to set up a judicial commission of enquiry which is still sitting to look at the remote and immediate causes of this strife so that we will find a lasting solution to it.“This other one is more of a problem in Taraba, but because there are Tiv people in Benue and we are talking about Tiv people. So, each time people are displaying, some run back to Benue. So, that’s the spirit of it.”
The Benue State governor also expressed confidence in Governor Darius Ishaku’s capacity to come up with a permanent ceasefire to the conflict in the state, saying: “I think the governor of Taraba State is doing well.
Recently, they met and they agreed that there should be ceasefire even though I saw in the press that there were some issues with that peace agreement.
“But you know that each time there are efforts to try to solve problems, criminal elements will come in and I think that the step that the governor took by inviting two sides, both the Tiv and the Jukun to sit together and find means on how they can resolve this matter is the best approach.“And I believe that once that problem is sorted out in Taraba State, we will not have anything in Benue State.”
No comments yet