Efforts by the Federal Government through the instrumentality of the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to resolve the lingering boundary dispute between Edo and Delta states, have been scuttled by the Delta State delegation who staged a walk-out at a peace meeting coordinated by the NBC.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr Musa Ebomhiana, “the joint meeting of officials on Edo/Delta Interstate Boundary Committee, including stakeholders from the two states and top officials of the NBC, was held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.”
He explained that “Stakeholders had converged on Benin City, as a follow-up to the last meeting held at the NBC Headquarters in Abuja, with a view to taking collective decisions at ensuring official demarcation of the disputed boundary areas.
“After successful deliberations on all the issues on the adopted agenda at the meeting which lasted over six hours, a top member of the Delta State delegation and former Surveyor-General of the state, Surveyor Dickson Akpoghene suddenly became unruly, while instigating other members of his team against signing the joint communiqué drafted by the NBC and led them on a walk-out, in spite of pleas by the director-general of the NBC and other stakeholders present.”
Mr Ebomhiana who was at the meeting, further said: “Earlier at the meeting, the Edo State Deputy Governor and Chairman State Boundary Committee, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, commended the efforts of the Director- General of NBC, Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, and his team for hearkening to the calls of Edo and Delta state governments at expediting actions in resolving the lingering boundary conflict between our two-sister states of Edo and Delta.”
He quoted the deputy governor as saying, “Edo State Government will continue to enjoin her people, especially those in the border axis of the state to coexist peacefully with their border-neighbours, even in the face of provocations.”
The Deputy Governor was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.
The CPS to the Edo Deputy Governor, also said that “the Deputy Governor of Delta State who doubles as Chairman of the State Boundary Committee, Deacon Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, expressed optimism that the renewed commitment by relevant stakeholders to resolve the crisis will mitigate skirmishes and violent confrontations between Edo and Delta State.”
He added: “Addressing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting and the way forward, the NBC Director General, Dr. Muhammad Ahmed, stated that the commission had worked closely with the joint committee of the two states with the singular objective to permanently resolve the boundary dispute, while assuring that the Commission would spare no efforts at reaching out to Delta State so as to ensure that both parties resolve all the contentious issues at stake.”