Katsina State Deputy Governor, 35 Others Meet Vice President Osinbajo Over Boundaries Disputes
The Katsina State Deputy Governor, Qs Mannir Yakubu on Monday joined his 35 counterparts from states of the federation to attend a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Old Banquet Hall Presidential Villa, Abuja, over boundary disputes among different states.
The Deputy Governors are the statutory chairmen of each state’s Boundary Committee.
Prof. Osinbajo, at the meeting, faulted some politicians whom he said “play ethnic or religious games” to exacerbate otherwise straightforward issues resulting in violence and death.
He charged the National Boundaries Commission (NBC) to step up its vital role in managing geographic boundaries in order to prevent border conflicts.
The Katsina State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Katsina State Boundary Committee has been on his toes, ensuring that demarcation of boundaries with neighbouring states were done without any dispute.
So far, the National Boundary Commission has established a single borderline state boundary between Katsina State and neighbouring Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna states.
In a communique three months ago, Katsina and Zamfara states resolved that the National Boundary Commission can commence an action towards the permanent demarcation of the boundary between the two states.
However, at the meeting with the deputy governors, the Vice President, who is also Chairman of the NBC, said it has become expedient to convene the meeting to enable all stakeholders in boundary disputes to understand the Act establishing the NBC and their roles to ensure proper boundary management.
The NBC was established under CAP 238 of 1990 and is responsible for managing internal boundaries among states and external borders between Nigeria and other countries. It is also responsible for preventing the inflow of contraband and illegal materials into the country.
He said, “We cannot stress this enough. Land is an emotive issue. And it accounts for many cases of the mindless violence and fatalities that result from border disputes and clashes.
“For many of our people, it is the very essence of their identity—the whole question of who owns what and who should have access to a particular piece of land. Sometimes it is tied to ancestry and ancient rivalries.
“But most of these combatants do not understand that many of these boundary lines are mainly for administrative convenience. And there should not be disputes about them, and even if there are, it should not lead to violence or the dislocation of people.
“Very often, we observe where politicians play ethnic or religious games which exacerbates otherwise straightforward issues and may result in violence and death. I believe that we are a responsible leadership that can sit at the table with other leaders and agree to give and take, and make concessions”, the Vice President said.