The National Boundary Commission (NBC) has called on the governments of Benue and Nasarawa States to prevail on their border communities to allow for peaceful border demarcation and erection of pillars.
The Director-General of NBC, Adam Adaji, made the call in his address at the Joint Meeting of Officials on the Benue/Nasarawa Interstate Boundary on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to Adaji, the Benue/Nasarawa interstate boundary has not been fully defined on the ground.
The NBC boss said the Federal and States Governments had intervened on the boundary severally over the years.
He, however frowned at the development where the pillars erected for the demarcation purpose were destroyed by the border communities.
“The fieldwork that was resumed in Feb 2022 resulted in the emplacement of eight pillars which was stalled due to insecurity.
“Regrettably, out of the pillars emplaced, three were reported to have been destroyed shortly after they were emplaced, and action on the boundary has been stalled since then.
“This meeting is therefore to consider all issues that affected the progress on the boundary and to come up with appropriate measures aimed at fast tracking the boundary definition and demarcation processes,” he said.
Adaji expressed the optimism that the meeting would come up with detailed programme of action towards the resumption of demarcation exercise on the boundary.
He reiterated the commission’s readiness to put all efforts in place towards the final demarcation of the boundary.
Speaking at the meeting, the Deputy Governor of Benue,, Mr Sam Ode, commended the NBC for providing the opportunity to deliberate and resolve the boundary issues between his state and Nasarawa.
Represented by Mr Martins Shaagee, the Benue Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, the deputy governor said a lot of achievements had been recorded on the Benue/Nasarawa Interstate Boundary project.
“These achievements include sensitisation of the border communities, Field Verification and partial demarcation of the boundary, which were carried out in the first quarter of 2023.
“During the field verification exercise, Benue State Boundary Committee raised two technical issues that bordered on the misinterpretation of the 1916, 1919, 1924 description as it affects Benue.
“These issues could not be resolved as they were not within the mandate of the Joint Field Team.
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa state, Dr Emmanuel Akabe said the two states are brothers, adding that they jointly existed and function as part of Benue-Plateau.
According to Akabe, the crisis of boundary between the two states had been on for a long time, stressing that as brothers, boundary should not be an issue between the both states.
“The last time we met, I thought the issue had been reaolved, but unfortunately, we are here talking about it again;.
“Pillars were erected but some people came.back and destroyed them,” he said.
The deputy governor assured that they would continue to educate their people on the purpose and essence of boundary demarcation. (NAN)