Boundary disputes worsen insecurity, 676 killed in states
September 13, 2022
Benue 21; Cross River 18; Ondo 4 ; Bayelsa 2 ; Lagos-1 and Edo 7.
In 2018, a total of 230 persons were allegedly slain with six killed in Adamawa; Delta 12 ; Kwara 2; Cross River 44; Kogi 10; Abia 10 ; Nasarawa 39 ; Ebonyi 13; Gombe 1; Taraba 73 ; Benue 12 and Niger 8.
Further breakdown revealed that within the five-year under review, Delta recorded 22 deaths; Nasarawa 39; Gombe 24; Adamawa 19; Niger 15; Abia 15; Yobe 11; Kwara 7 ;Ondo 9; Anambra 6; Bayelsa 2; Edo 8; Bauchi 5; Akwa Ibom 5; Osun 6, Enugu 1; Lagos 1 and Oyo 2.
boundary disputes make the states vulnerable, adding that contiguous states should work together to address such crises.
The former force spokesman said, “Some disputes are borne out of claims and counter-claims over mineral resources or land for agricultural purposes, or to gain from dividends flowing from siting of industrial concerns. All of these pose serious security implications.
“Contiguous states ought to collaborate in preventing and solving crime since what happens in one has a possibility of spilling to the other. Where they are enmeshed in boundary conflicts, they see themselves as competitors. Criminals are watching. They take advantage of the schism and endanger the people.
“Some of such disputes arise from political differences between the respective governors. As they dissipate energy over boundaries, they spend security votes on irrelevant matters, leaving their states exposed.
Also, the heads of security outfits in the contending states may take sides, and may fail, where they ought to share information and network.”
A security analyst, Chidi Omeje, attributed recurring communal clashes to poverty and bad governance.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ifedayo Adedipe, said it was regrettable that some communities violated court judgments on boundary disputes.
“There are places where you have the National Boundary Commission (demarcation) which regrettably will appear not to be up to date. Also, if there are departments of the government responsible for overseeing issues concerning boundaries, these incidents will be reduced. But where the court gives a judgment and there is no political will to enforce it, boundary disputes are bound to keep reoccurring. It is regrettable that people die as a result of boundary disputes. If two communities have disputes over boundaries and the court of law addresses it one way or the other, the parties involved should go with the court’s decision, irrespective of their choices,’’ he submitted.
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Oluseun Abimbola, queried the tendency of some Nigerians to resort to violence to settle disputes.
“Why is there this tendency in us as a people to take laws into our hands? That should tell you about the history of how successive administrations have managed and disrespected the rule of law. If there is no respect for the rule of law from the government, the people will not respect the rule of law,’’ he argued.
The lawyer blamed a lack of respect for the rule of law for the conflicts, stressing that the citizens involved in violent communal clashes were emulating the government’s lawlessness.
“If the government upholds the rule of law, no citizen will have the confidence to challenge the rule of law but when citizens begin to challenge the rule of law it’s because they see that the governor does the same,” Abimbola stressed
Meanwhile, tension had on Monday gripped residents of the Ogbe-Ijoh community in Delta State as angry youths, under the auspices of the Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom Interest and Defensive Forum, protested the alleged destruction of houses in the area over boundary adjustment.
The aggrieved youth accused the chairmen of Udu and Warri South West local government areas, Jite Brown and Taiye Tuoyo respectively “of unlawful destruction of houses in Ogbe-Ijoh community in the name of a boundary adjustment.”
The protesting youths, while faulting the genuineness of the Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh boundary committee, gave the two council chairmen seven days ultimatum within which to rebuild the destroyed houses, “to avoid a showdown.”
It was gathered that the group reportedly faulted the purported boundary committee for not seeking the consent of the Ogbe-Ijoh community before embarking on the destruction of some buildings in the community.
Senate meets IGP
Meanwhile, the Senate has asked the heads of relevant security agencies and the Judiciary to prosecute apprehended terrorists and oil thieves in the country.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said this at a meeting between the leadership of the senate and Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and heads of other security agencies in the country.
Lawan said that doing this would give Nigerians the assurance that nobody “is above the laws” of the land by undermining the stability of the country.
He further said allowing apprehended terrorists or oil thieves to escape justice would not augur well for the country.
He said, “While we fight the insecurity in the country, sometimes we capture bandits alive as well as those stealing crude oil on a daily basis.
“We want to see the trials of the people who are caught because when this happens, citizens will know that nobody, no matter how high that person is, can’t go scot-free if he or she decides to get involved in this kind of criminal activity.
“We also appeal to our courts, the judiciary that once we have cases like this, we must give expeditious consideration. Because these are the issues that today, are militating against our stability and even against our democracy.”
On the issue of oil theft, Lawan said the nation was losing a lot of money and enjoined the judiciary to make allowances for the immediate prosecution of oil thieves.
He added, “We lose so much of our fuel. As at the last count, the report was that we export just a little above 900,000 barrels and that is just about 50 per cent of the quantity expected to be exported. It is supposed to be 1.8 million barrels per day and that is affecting our revenues and resources for development.
“The judiciary should therefore give special consideration. Once oil thieves are taken to court, we must prosecute them because it is not enough just take away whatever they have stolen and say go and sin no more.”
The Senate President, however, commended the Security Chiefs for the remarkable difference made within the last four months in the war against insurgency and banditry.
He said security as appropriated in the 2021 and 2022 national budgets, will take the lion’s share of the 2023 budgets in terms of appropriation.
Those who were with the Senate President at the interactive session which later went into a closed-door meeting, are the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo – Agege, the Senate Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir; the Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu and the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice.
Others were the Deputy Whip of the Senate, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, the Minority Whip, Senator Chukwuka Utazi; Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Thompson Sekibo; Chairman, Senate Committee on Air Force, Senator Bala Na’Allah and others.
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