Osinbajo to broker peace between Benue, Ebonyi over boundary dispute

The Federal Government through Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has resolved to settle the age-long boundary dispute between Benue and Ebonyi states which has claimed many lives and valuable property on both sides.

Ngbo town in Ebonyi and Agila town in Benue have fought many battles over land ownership for years without a solution in sight.

Osinbajo met behind closed doors with Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom and Ebonyi State Deputy Governor Kelechi Igwe, who represented his boss Governor Dave Umahi at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, September 30.

The acting Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Adaji Adamu, also attended the meeting.

The land dispute has recorded many tragedies while members of peace panels set up to look into the matter by both states were also not spared in some attacks.

In May, four members of a peace committee set up by the states were beheaded.

The attackers were simply tagged “unknown gunmen”.

Ortom, who spoke to the press at the end of the meeting, said, “We came at the instance of the VP to discuss the lingering problem between Benue and Ebonyi states, particularly between Agila and Ngbo.

“The acting DG, National Boundary Commission also attended the meeting and we have taken far-reaching decisions to ensure that we demarcate the boundary between these two states so that we can hold our people responsible.

“As it is now, it’s difficult to identify the criminal elements who are creating tension and creating more of these problems.

“So, I believe that very soon the boundary commission will be coming out with a programme that both Benue and Ebonyi will team up to provide the necessary logistics and security to ensure that the boundary is demarcated.

On the crisis between Tiv and the Jukun in Taraba State, the governor said it was more of a Taraba issue, but with a spillover into Benue.

He said, “I know that there is a spillover. I have Jukun in Benue. We are not fighting. There were issues in the past and I decided to set up a judicial commission of enquiry, which is still looking at the remote and immediate causes of this strife so that we will find a lasting solution to it.”

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