The Chairman of the Abia State Boundary Committee and Deputy Governor of the State, Ikechuckwu Emetu, has advised the National Boundary Commission, NBC, to muster enough willpower to permanently tackle boundary disputes between Abia communities and their neighbours in other states.
He gave the advice at Government House, Umuahia, during a crucial meeting he held with members of the Abia State Boundary Committee.
He made it clear that the current administration in the state is determined to resolve conflicts along boundary areas of the State.
He pointed out that boundary disputes and other forms of conflicts produce consequences such as the destruction of lives and property, loss of farmlands and economic crops, adding that several indigenes of affected communities have been forcefully displaced from their original homes during such boundary conflicts.
He, therefore, charged the National Boundary Commission, Abia State Boundary Committee, and other relevant stakeholders to urgently synergize in producing permanent solutions to the lingering internal boundary issues while urging the members of Abia State Boundary Committee to table their needs and challenges according to him, Abia State Government is ready to provide all necessary assistance to the committee.
Responding, the Surveyor General of Of Abia State, Mr Ivo Onye, and a Permanent Secretary in the State, Mr Franklin Onyema, listed some challenges facing the Abia State Boundary Committee, including lack of vehicles, poor logistics and lack of materials.
The Boundary Committee members disclosed that seven States are presently involved in boundary disputes with their neighbouring communities of Abia State but promised that the Committee would do its best to bring a lasting solution to the matter even as they appealed for government support.
DAILY POST recalls that several communities in the State are yet to resolve their boundary disputes with neighbours from Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi State, which have either claimed lives or caused heavy destruction of property.
Among the area where lives have been lost include Ariam Usaka in the Ikwuano Local Government Area during their persistent clash with their neighbours Nkari community of Ini LGA in Akwa Ibom State.
A former House of Assembly member representing the Ikwuano constituency, Stanley Nwabuisi, lamented in a previous interview that over 20 persons from the Ikwuano community had been killed during a boundary-related clash with their Akwa Ibom neighbours.
Other areas are Arochukwu and Ohafia LGAs, where the loss of lives was recorded in the recent past.
At Umunnochi, Ukwa East and Umuahia North LGAs, boundary issues have also led to land grabbing, invasion and destruction of property.