Gombe, Yobe agree on boundary demarcation steps

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

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The Boundary Committees in Gombe and Yobe States have agreed that the National Boundary Commission and the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation and the two states will carry out appropriate field tracing of the recommended median line of 2014 from February 19 to March 4, this year.

This was part of other decisions reached at a one-day joint meeting of officials of the boundary officials of both states, organised by the National Boundary Commission in Damaturu, Yobe State, which was chaired by the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Dr. Muhammed Bose B. Ahmad, to determine the boundary definition process.

The meeting also agreed that the two state governments, the affected local government councils and traditional rulers would carry out enlightenment campaigns to sensitise the people on the field work, so that the communities understand that the field work was not meant to dispossess them of their farmlands or settlements.

It said the affected local government councils and Traditional institutions would be assisted to revive the Joint Security Committee with to work towards ensuring peace among the border communities.

The joint meeting of the Gombe and Yobe Boundary Committees was chaired by Dr. Ahmad, while the Yobe State Deputy Governor, Mallam Abubakar Aliyu and the Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Charles Iliya represented their various states.

It discussed the sectors were the states show deferent lines as  representing the grey sectors, which require additional fieldwork, that the office exercise, to be jointly undertaken by a technical team, recommend a media line in the grey areas, while some incidences at the sectors of the boundary, due to disputes over farmlands by individuals of the affected communities, was not necessarily boundary disputes.

At the end, they agreed that the governments of the two states encourage exchange visits by the Emirs of Fika and Nafada to consolidate the existing peaceful coexistence amongst their subjects, while security agencies in the two states should be directed to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators of the Meda/Kalaye crisis of 2013 along the boundary for appropriate prosecution to serve as deterrence to others.

The two states also agreed that the affected local government councils and traditional rulers would carry out enlightenment campaigns to sensitize the people on a field work which would be carries out by the National Boundary Commission, the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation and the two states to trace the appropriate fields.

They also agreed chairmen of the two state boundary committees would immediately undertake joint visits to border communities to preach peace amongst the people.

The Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Dr. Ahmad, said the dynamics of human activities and population growth contributed to boundary disputes, tracing the historic development in evolution of the interstate boundary and stressed the need for interstate boundaries to be demarcated to show jurisdictional limits of different strata of government.

He charged the two states to discuss the issues dispassionately and cooperate with the National Boundary Commission in its task.

The Deputy Governor of Yobe State, Mallam Abubakar Aliyu, expressed optimism in the efforts of the Federal Government and the two states to resolve the current challenges on the boundary.

Mallam Aliyu advised that in the attempt to define the interstate boundary, issues to be considered should be preference of negotiation to court litigation, encouragement of joint development and the promotion of cultural activities among others.

On his part, the Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Charles Iliya, stressed that the interstate boundary was necessary for administration and not barriers, while urging the affected communities to imbibe the spirit of brotherliness and resolve the differences amicably.

Nnenna.O