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Enugu Govt. Commends NBC on intervention on  Enugu /Ebonyi  inter-state boundary

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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.
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“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.

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