The Nigerian government is planning to demarcate the boundary between Benue and Ebonyi states as a way of resolving the crisis between two communities in both states.
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, told State House correspondents on Monday that the National Boundary Commission would come out with a programme to ensure that the boundary is demarcated.
“I believe that very soon, the Boundary Commission will come out with a programme that both Ebonyi and Benue will team up together to provide the necessary logistics and security to ensure that the boundary is demarcated,”Governor Ortom said after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He said the meeting was at the instance of the vice president and had the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe, and the Acting Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Adaji Adamu, in attendance.
Governor Ortom said; “the meeting took far-reaching decision to ensure that we demarcate between these two states so that we can hold our people responsible.
“As it is now, it is difficult to identify the criminal elements that are creating tension and creating more of these problems.”
According to him, the issue between the two states is a boundary crisis, and not communal crisis, because it is between communities in the states.
“Benue State is witnessing a spillover of the crisis between Tiv and Jukun in Taraba State.
“This is largely Tiv and Jukun in Taraba. I have Jukun in Benue State; we are not fighting….There were issues in the past and I decided to set up a judicial commission of enquiry, which is still sitting to look at the remote and immediate causes of this crisis so that we 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 you are talking about Tiv people, each time people are displaced, some run back to Benue. So, that is the spillover, but I think that the governor of Taraba State is doing well.”
Governor Ortom said; “Recently, they met and they agreed that there would be ceasefire, though I saw in the press that there were issues with is effort to solve problems, criminal elements will come in.
“And I believe this is what is happening, but the step the governor took by inviting the two sides, both the TIV and the Jukun, to sit together to seek ways, how to resolve this matter themselves, is the best approach.”
Governor Ortom expressed hope that the crisis in Taraba State would be resolved if the issues there are sorted out.