Benue Boundary C’tee starts action on intra/interstate border demarcations

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

**Flags off Makurdi-Guma Sector of Benue/Nasarawa Interstate Boundary on Friday.

Benue State Boundary Committee has been mandated by the Executive Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia to commence work on the land and border demarcation of both intra and interstate boundaries with the aim of ensuring peaceful resolution of all boundary issues within and around the state border corridors.

The Governor’s approval was made public by the Deputy Governor and Chairman, Benue State Boundary Committee, His Excellency, Barr. Dr. Sam Ode,mni, on Thursday, at a meeting of the Committee with Caretaker Chairmen, Traditional Rulers, and stakeholders from Makurdi and Guma, aimed at addressing once and for all, the lingering boundary issues in the state.

Barr Ode noted that the Boundary Committee has been steadfast in its efforts to mediate and provide solutions that are equitable and sustainable, and attributed the Committee’s success to the collective will of all parties involved.

He enjoined all participants to embrace dialogue and negotiation as the primary tools, even as they move into the field to begin the demarcation exercise, saying “Let us eschew any form of antagonism or rancour. The future we envision for Benue State, one of prosperity, peace, and progress, is within our grasp if we work together with sincerity of purpose”.

In addition, the Deputy Governor said “while addressing the boundary issues, we must also acknowledge the broader implications. The stability and security of our state depend significantly on our ability to manage and resolve disputes amicably. Economic activities, social interactions, and overall development are all influenced by the peace and stability of our communities. Therefore, our commitment to this demarcation process is not just a political obligation but a moral one”.

Also on Thursaday, the Chairman, Benue State Boundary Committtee met with tradtional rulers and other stakeholders from Konshisha and Oju local government areas and informed them of government’s readiness to start demarcation work on the boundary corridor of Bonta and Okpute communities.

He further said “we have reached the highpoint on the Bonta-Okpute boundary discourse. After the signing of peace agreement by the two communities in August 2023, an implementation committee was set up to among other terms of reference, ensure a rancour-free demarcation of the disputed area. Today, I am happy to inform you that we have the approval of the Governor of Benue State to go to the field and carry out the demarcation exercise”.

The Deputy Governor also paid tribute to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), an NGO that midwifed the signing of the peace accord between the two communities, adding that “The letters and spirit of that agreement is what we are implementing now”.

In his remark, leader of the HD delegation, Mr. Ibrahim Hassan said the organization was very appreciative for the support of the people and government of Benue State, particularly the Boundary Committee, and expressed delight for the invitation extended to HD to come and witness the historic exercise.

“For me is such an honour today for witnessing this event. The Konshisha-Oju agreement has made history as the only agreement signed and implemented in less than a year. Today is promise made and promise kept”, he concluded.

Consequently, on Friday, June 21, 2024 the State Boundary Committee in conjunction with other stakeholders will commence the exercise at the Makurdi-Guma axis of the Benue/Nasarawa interstate boundary, while on Saturday, June 22, 2024 the Committee will start work on the land demarcation between Bonta and Okpute communities in Konshisha and Oju local government areas.

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