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Akwa Ibom Uncovers Why Conflict Festers at Boundary Communities

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

Principal causes of boundary disputes among communities in Nigeria have been found by the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Moses Ekpo. He is attributing the restiveness in boundary communities to hunger and poverty.

Ekpo let the cat out of the bag when he received a delegation of the National Boundary Commission led by the Director General, Adamu Adaji, in his office in Uyo, the state capital.

He explains that when the means of their livelihood is disrupted, the people are bound to become traumatised.

Ekpo told his visitors that, “the renew sensitisation engagement will give room for indepth conversation with the people while reassuring that the state and Federal Government will be encouraged to embark on what joint development programme could be undertaken at the borders to provide better living for both sides.”

Continuing, the deputy governor said though a lot of work has been done already by the state government to ensure peaceful coexistence in the border communities, he however, underlined the state government’s commitment to partner with the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to enhance the development of border communities in the state.

Ekpo is the Chairman of the State Boundary Committee. He is acknowledging the critical role of sensitisation in resolving the cross-boundary crisis, and accordingly described the NBC team’s visit to the state as a very timely initiative that would help to maintain peace, especially during this farming season.

The deputy governor said he fully subscribes to the current strategic effort of the Commission to engender peace across the borders.

Ekpo observed that the frequent visits and monitoring to those areas as well as the provision of shared infrastructure would go a long way in enhancing peace at the borders, particularly in the Abia and Akwa Ibom boundary.

Earlier, the National Boundary Commission chief, Adamu Adaji, said the essence of the visit was to sensitise, enlighten and mobilise border communities in Akwa Ibom state along the Abia/Akwa Ibom interstate boundary.

Adaji disclosed that the Commission decided to flag off the maiden edition of the inter-state promotion of transborder cooperation amongst communities of states, from Akwa Ibom in view of the fact that Akwa Ibom has remained a worthy and credible partner in the promotion of boundary conflict management in Nigeria.

“We want to deviate a little bit from the emphasis of trying to get the boundary demarcated.  Let’s see how we can bring the communities together, promote integration and jointly utilise resources along the boundary corridor.

“Also see how the State, Local and Federal Governments can graciously promote this integration by providing them the necessary infrastructure needs which will help to enhance cooperation between these communities’’, he said.

The director general said that once the communities see themselves as one, and that bond re-established, then, issues of where the boundary lies would be insignificant.

Adaji commended the effort of the Akwa Ibom government for the cordial and peaceful co-existence with its neighbours, adding that the commission will do all it takes to ensure that people in the affected communities co-exist peacefully.

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