Enugu, Anambra worry over insecurity in disputed border settlement

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the people of Ibite Olo in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State and Awba Ofemmili in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra have been at daggers drawn.

The Governments of Enugu and Anambra states on Wednesday expressed concern over the brewing dispute between two border communities, one in each of the states.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the people of Ibite Olo in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State and Awba Ofemmili in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra have been at daggers drawn.
This was due to the non-delineation of the border of the communities by the National Boundary Commission since Enugu State was created out of Anambra in 1991.
Enugu State Deputy Governor, Cecelia Ezeilo, said that the inaction of the NBC had become worrisome.
Ezeilo said this while addressing people of the two communities in their separate enclaves when a delegation from the two state governments visited the disputed area.
She said that the matter was now beyond the two state governments, adding that only the NBC could resolve it.
She said: “This case has been on for long but if you know how peaceful you had lived before the crisis erupted, you should maintain it.
“The NBC will be coming in the next two or three months to demarcate the boundary.”
The deputy governor appealed to the two communities to sheath their swords and stop the arson, maiming and reported kidnap of farmers in the area.
Ezeilo said that the two state governments would not hesitate to punish anyone found instigating further crisis.
Also, Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, said that the state government was interested in any move that would usher peace in the volatile area.
Okeke said that the ongoing destruction of property and kidnap cases would do no one any good.
He said: “We had earlier set up a seven-man committee on both sides but it has not been able to handle the situation.
“Instead, kidnapping, maiming and arson have been the order of the day. We are here to clear our conscience and have ordered the Police to take charge.”
He reiterated that the matter was beyond what both states could handle.
He said: “The NBC will be here to demarcate the boundary. We are not happy with the report of kidnapping here.”
NAN reports that property in the farm settlement have been burnt due to the crisis.

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