By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—DEPUTY Goveror of Ebonyi State, Dr Kelechi Igwe, yesterday called on the National Boundary Commission, NBC to facilitate the demarcation of Ngbo /Agila boundary lines both in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state and Benue State to forestall further killings in the troubled zone.
Speaking in Abuja at a joint meeting of officials of NBC, Benue/Ebonyi Interstate Boundary, Igwe described as disturbing, incessant loss of lives and property in the boundary area, as six indigenes of Ngbo were gruesomely murdered recently.
The deputy governor who is also the Chairman of Ebony State Boundary Committee said: ‘’The level of attacks and killing of our people on regular basis by their Benue neighbours, is worrisome. It is not as if our people are too weak to retaliate but as a responsible government, we consistently appeal to them not to resort to reprisal so as not to aggravate the situation.”
Speaking, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abonu chided NBC for failure to follow up joint sensitisaton carried out by the commission and the two affected states since 2016.
He described as unfortunate, the resurgence of crisis in the border corridors and reported that the two states had in a bilateral meeting held in Abakaliki on the 24th of October, 2018 took far reaching agreements towards restoring peace on the the interstate boundary.
Part of the resolution was to call on the relevant authorities to establish an Army base and police post in the flash point, joint patrol of security agencies in the disputed area to check the activities of miscreants, as well setting up of a joint committee to dialogue and bring lasting solutions.
The Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Dr Mohammed Ahmed in a welcome address, attributed return of hostilities to non-constitution of the agreed Joint Peace Committee and urged the meeting to discuss the issue dispassionately and come up with resolutions to bring lasting peace to the affected communities of the two states.
In his contribution Sen Sam Egwu representing Ebony North zone, said felling of trees for economic gains contributed to the return of hostilities in the area and stressed the need for security agencies to investigate the recent killings in Ngbo and culprits should be arrested and prosecuted.
At the end, the meeting resolved to among other things that the joint resolution of the two states should be implemented, while the two states shall grade the road linking the Agila and Ekwashi communities to facilitate access by security Agencies.
A technical commttee of the federal government and the Two states was constituted and directed to determine the buffer as was agreed earlier by the affected communities, while felling of trees should stop forthwith in the buffer zone until the boundary is defined and demarcated.