Osinbajo meets Benue, Ebonyi govs over boundary dispute

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The Federal Government has made another attempt to find a workable solution to 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.Vice-President Yemi 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.The acting Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Adaji Adamu, also attended the meeting.The lingering land dispute has recorded many tragedies. 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”.In October 2018, another clash claimed five lives in the affected communities.Earlier in July of the same year, one Joseph Omah, and his wife, Angelina, were also murdered.Ortom, who spoke to State House Correspondents 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 spill over. 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.“This other one is more of a problem in Taraba, but because there are Tiv people in Benue and we are talking about Tiv people, so each time people are displaced some run back to Benue.“But I think that the governor of Taraba State, Mr Darius Ishaku, is doing well. Recently, they met and they agreed that there should be a ceasefire even though I read in the press that there were some issues with that peace agreement.”

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