The National Boundary Commission has been charged to diligently pursue, as a matter of priority, the end to the boundary disputes rocking the South East States of the Country.
The Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, gave the charge on Tuesday at the Government House, Abakaliki, when he received in audience a Board member representing South East in the NBC, Ugonna Uzor-Kalu.
The Governor regretted that Ebonyi State in particular has spent millions of naira to maintain security and manage internally displaced persons within its border area of Cross River, Benue, Enugu and Abia States and called on the NBC representative to also synergize with her counterparts in the South South and North Central to institute border peace across the zones.
Governor Umahi further recommended a collaborative arbitration method of dispute settlement, whereby traditional rulers relate with the NBC representatives and inter-border delegates to assess claims and objections with reference to available title documents to be presented by the disputing parties.
He noted that such an approach would further deepen understanding and cordial relationship while stemming the carnages often witnessed in those borders.
Umahi said: “Lives are lost and we are spending a lot of money within these locations to State Security Services, the Police, the Army and also supporting a lot of IDPs resulting from the crises zones.
“So, you have come at a good time.
“We have issues with Enugu, we have issues with Abia.
“So being in charge of our zone, I think you have to work hard to see how we can resolve these ones, while you work with your colleagues in South South and North Central to see how we can mingle with the Deputy Governors.
“You know, we must move forward.”
Delivering her mission statement, Orji-Kalu said her visit was geared towards acquiring appropriate insights about the prevailing inter and intra boundary disputes in the respective communities in the State.
She noted that she would be liaising with the State Committee and other stakeholders like the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo to engage the major actors towards exploiting other alternative dispute resolutions methods through her “Traditional Strategy Initiative.”
She further unveiled her four-year work plan as a member of the NBC Board, tagged: “Say No to Boundary Conflicts,” in the South East and solicited for Umahi’s endorsement and support to actualize the dream.