Enugu State government has commended the Nigeria Boundary Commission for it’s intervention on the
Enugu/ Ebonyi boundary dispute, urging the affected communities to continue to leave in peace.
Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Hon(Mrs) Cecilia also commended the governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. Dave Umahi , and the National boundary commission for his support in seeing that there is peace between Ebonyi state and Enugu State .
She gave the commendation Wednesday , in Abakaliki , Ebonyi state capital, during the Joint meeting of Officials on Ebonyi/Enugu inter-state boundary.
She said that Enugu State and Ebonyi State Inter marry, they are sisters and were together before the creation of Ebony State. The deputy governor noted the dangers of land dispute, which included insecurity, affects development.
Ezeilo suggested that in carrying out the demarcation for the 36km areas under disputation, the old Enugu map should be used to trace the actual boundaries since the communities were captured in the old map. She was also of the view that the communities that refused to show their boundaries be visited for a meeting ,in order to be sure that they both agreed that the National boundary commission should approve a boundary for them.
“Take a message to our brothers and sisters that Enugu and Ebonyi states are one. Creation of state is a good thing. It brings development. Let it not bring trouble for us. Ebonyi and Enugu State are one”, Ezeilo said.
In his address, the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, (NBC) , Adamu Adaji said that demarcation will be carried out before the raining season and sensitization exercise for the demarcation of the areas will be in February ending, and demarcation in March, 2021.
According to him, Ebonyi/ Enugu inter-state boundary is about 130km in length and their precious interventions resulted in the confirmation of about 94km stretch as consensus sector. “The remaining 36km stretch constitutes the disputed and skipped sectors made up of sectors where either the delineation instruments are deficient, vague or ambiguous and axis where the border communities would not show the boundary because of cultural beliefs .
“As agreed, a joint field team was inaugurated at Ezeilo in Ishielu local government area of Ebonyi State on 11Th November, 2020 to carry out additional fieldwork in the outstanding grey areas. I am glad to report that field team successfully carried out the assignment in the disputed sectors of 1,2,3,4,5,9 and part of sector 6. However, Sectors 7,8 part of sector 6 and the skipped sectors 1 and 2 were not visited because some border communities within Enugu State declined to participate in the exercise.
” Preparatory to today’s meeting, technical experts met in Abuja last week to critically review the additional fieldwork of the joint field team and have articulated recommendations on the way forward. ”
Adaji disclosed that the focus of the meeting was to consider and discuss the recommendations of the experts and give further directives.
He noted that, ” There is no doubt that the two States are one and the same and that administrative boundary cannot be a barrier to the relationship that should exist between the people of the states
” We are aware that boundaries are created to show the limits of administrative jurisdiction of constituted authorities.
“As we know, boundary cannot serve it’s exact purpose until it is put on the ground for easy identification. It is in that regard that the commission plans to commence the permanent demarcation of the boundary as soon as possible”, he said.
The Director General commended the efforts of the government and people of Ebonyi and Enugu States in the maintenance of peaceful co-existence among their border communities, noting that “Though there may appear patches of crisis among some neighbouring communities, the National Boundary Commission is encouraged and shall do everything humanly possible to resolve disputes between the two States as quickly as possible ”
Adaji said the activities for the demarcation exercise will start from February 22, 2021 with sensitization of the communities. The demarcation of the 94km consensus areas will be done first before the raining season while the other ones will be done at a later.
He said that the pillars will be erected at the areas of demarcation , and sensitization exercise carried out.
The Director General assured that the commission will demarcate the boundary of the two communities that refused to show them their boundary because they are brothers.
He urged the border communities to cooperate with the Joint Field Team during the demarcation exercise, expressing the hope that, “”The states will ensure that the affected border communities are adequately sensitized on the demarcation work before it is commenced”
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi, Chief Kelechi Igwe , thanked Enugu State government and the NBC for their efforts in settling the boundary issues . He supported the NBC’s approval for the demarcation, but suggested that the proposed pillars be erected at once.
Chairman of the technical committee of experts, Dr Uche Orji, presented the committee’s report which recommended an equitable demarcation of the boundaries among others.
The meeting which had other stakeholders, the traditional rulers and president generals if various communities unanimously agreed that the boundaries be demarcated and the issues be settled once and for all.