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Boundary Dispute: Edo, Delta govts urge border communities on peaceful coexistence

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…tasks Boundary Commission to expedite action on demarcation

The Edo and Delta state governments have called on border communities in both states to sheath their swords and live harmoniously pending the determination of boundaries by the National Boundary Commission.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State (right) and his Delta State counterpart, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, addressing journalists when Okowa visited Obaseki in Benin City on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

The advice was contained in a communique issued after a joint inter-state boundary meeting between Edo and Delta states at the Government House, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The two states committed to prevailing on the NBC to expedite action on final demarcation and survey of the disputed boundaries between the two states, noting, “A committee has been set up to look into legal and boundaries issues relating to the two states.

“The committee will comprise of the Attorney General of each state, Commissioner of Police of both states; Chairmen of Orhionmwon and Esan South East local government areas of Edo State and Ethiope East, Ukwani and Ika South local government areas in Delta State. Other members include Surveyor General of each state and the deputy chief of staff of Edo State.”

Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu called on border communities in Edo and Delta states to sheath their swords over claims and counterclaims of land ownership, stressing that efforts are in top gear to resolve the dispute with the National Boundary Commission (NBC) leading the charge.

Shaibu, who stressed that the two states ought not to have such issues as they made up the defunct Bendel State and share historical and cultural ties, he said there was need to maintain the strong bond and not allow disagreement on boundary divide them.

He expressed appreciation to officials of the two states, noting that “despite the boundary dispute, we are still brothers. We were carved out of the old Bendel State and our history can be traced to Bendel. We should remain indivisible.”

Explaining that the dispute by border communities started shortly after the creation of the two states in 1991, he said, “In 2001, the Federal Government waded into the crises by directing the NBC to undertake the provisional demarcation of the boundary between the two states.

Shaibu urged the NBC to take urgent steps on the final demarcation of the boundary, as it will lay to rest the lingering tension and agitation between border communities of the two states.

“This Inter-state boundary meeting is convened to douse the mounting tension in the border communities of our states.”

Shaibu appealed to all communities in the border areas of Edo and Delta states to embrace peace, as the NBC and governments of Edo and Delta states intensify effort at ensure the demarcation of the boundary between the two states without further delay.

Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, said Delta and Edo states are sister-states and share common experiences and historical antecedents.

He noted that the boundary meeting for dispute resolution is held with the active participation and guidance of officials of NBC and the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation.

“It is pertinent to recall that from the series of communique issued after various joint meetings held with the NBC, both states were always enjoined to maintain the status quo in areas of dispute, as a means of sustaining peace, pending the completion of the process.”

He said a committee has been set up to ensure that law and order is maintained, pending the conclusion of the demarcation process by NBC.

Commissioner of Police Edo State, Mr. Jonhson Kokumo appealed to the boundary communities to stop the attack on law enforcement agencies, especially the police as such act will no longer be tolerated.

“Law enforcement agencies have been attacked severally while performing their constitutional role of maintaining law and order”.

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