Ishaku, Ortom wade into Taraba, Benue border crisis

Ishaku, Ortom wade into Taraba, Benue border crisis

Sunday, February 5, 2017 8:28 am

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State


Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba and his Benue counterpart, Dr. Samuel Ortom, on Saturday set aside the National Boundary Commission’s decision to swap two communities.

The commission recently ceded Moon community of Kwande Local Government in Benue, to Taraba, and also ceded Chachangi in Takum Local Government of Taraba, to Benue, a development that sparked violent crisis.

Worried by the effect of the commission’s decision, the governors decided to return to the status quo, before the commission’s intervention.

“We are taking this decision to promote peace and security,” the governors announced, after at a joint security council meeting at the border town of Kashimbila.

The duo had toured some border communities affected by crisis that hit both states, before the security meeting.

They said they had to respect the sensibilities of the indigenes as a way of restoring peace, and jointly promised to assist herdsmen to build ranches, since current realities had made open grazing rather difficult.

Ortom, who read the decision, promised that the lingering boundary crisis would soon be over “given the commitment of the two parts”.

“We will raise technical teams to work out the details that will be communicated to the boundary commission for necessary action.

“We also want to appeal to indigenes, who may be affected by the standard demarcation exercise of the commission, to accept their new statuses.

“We have resolved that after the standard boundary demarcation , if you are a Tiv man and you fall in Taraba, you become an indigene of Taraba, and if you are Jukun and you fall in Benue, you are indigene of the state,” he said.

Ortom assured the Moon people, displaced by incessant crisis, that government would ensure their quick return to their ancestral homes, adding that social amenities would be provided for them.

Gov. Ishaku, who affirmed the decision, expressed optimism that the governors’ intervention would resolve the boundary disputes and end the violence.

“With the two governors sharing several things in common including faith in God, a solution will soon be found for the crisis,” he said.

Ishaku said that the two governors had also resolved to tour the northern border around Wukari and Akwana where they would meet all stakeholders toward ending the skirmishes there.

The governor promised full support to ranching, noting that it remained the best and permanent solution to the incessant farmers and herders’ clashes.

He said that he was working with agriculture minister Audu Ogbeh, to establish a grass farm on the Mambilla Plateau of Taraba.

“We hope to sell the grasses to cattle rearers to feed their cows in ranches,” he explained.  (NAN)

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