Preparatory to commencement of the demarcation of the disputed Benue /Taraba interstate boundary, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Darius Ishaku Dickson of Taraba State and the Director-General, National Boundary Commission, Surv. Adamu Adaji have embarked on a sensitization tour of the border communities to solicit their cooperation and support for the exercise.
The two governors were represented by their deputies, Engr Benson Abounu (Benue) and Engr Haruna Manu (Taraba), both of them chairmen of their State Boundary Committees.
The sensitisation and peace advocacy tour which began yesterday with visits to Jootar, Chonko, Anyiin, Kenke and Vaase was rounded up today with visits to Sai, where they addressed the people of Abako and Sai; then Chanchanji, Dogon Gawa and Kashimbilla.
The governors called on people in the border communities to cooperate fully with the field workers from the National Boundary Commission so that they can successfully and peacefully carry out the demarcation exercise
In separate speeches, Governors Ortom and Ishaku told the people that the boundary is not meant to divide the people but rather to serve for administrative convenience and a platform for socio-economic interaction and development.
Governor Ortom, who decried the unnecessary loss of human lives and destruction of properties to the crisis stressed the need for peace in the border corridor so that the people, working together with the government can move their various communities to the next level of development.
He stated that the demarcation of the boundary will ensure the cessation of hostilities between the people of the two states as it would settle the question of land ownership, which is at the heart of the crisis in the area.
The Director-General of the NBC, who was represented by Director, Research and Policy Analysis, NBC, Dr Okechukwu Oji implored the border communities to support the efforts of both state governments and the federal government at bringing the impasse to a permanent end by cooperating with the field workers.
The joint Peace advocacy team paid a courtesy call on the Aku Uka of Wukari, HRM, Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi during which they received assurances of the support of the Jukun Tradional Council and people of his domain for the demarcation exercise .
The team, which was made up of security chiefs, local government council chairmen of Logo, Ukum, Katsina-ala, Wukari, and Takum, received assurances of support and cooperation from the traditional institutions, elders and people of all the areas visited.