Anambra, Enugu adopt home-grown formula to end boundary conflicts

Anambra and Enugu state governments have resolved to adopt a home-grown formula to tame boundary conflicts and put an end to all altercations among its border communities.

The two states at a joint meeting held in conjunction with the National Boundary Commission (NBC) in Abuja said the resort to the home-grown approach would allow each state to carry out a detailed survey of its boundary corridor in areas with known pending issues.

The new approach they reasoned would not only enable each border community to define their common boundary but make it easier for them to come to a compromise in a few of the unresolved sectors along the boundary corridor.

According to them, a home-grown approach was relevant in resolving the boundary issues as it enables each community to define its boundary based on known artefacts and acceptable oral history of the environment.

These were contained in the communiqué issued Thursday and jointly signed by the trio of Dr Gilbert Onyeka Chukwu Ibezim and Barrister Ifeanyi Ossai, who are deputy governors of Anambra and Enugu states respectively and who doubled as the chairman of their states boundary committees as well as the Director – general of the NBC, Surveyor Adamu Adaji.

Further, the communiqué indicated that the states have expressed their willingness to muster the political will to end the boundary dispute without further delay.

The meeting also resolved “that the two states shall hold bilateral engagement to discuss the outcome of the use of the formula in April, 2024 to harmonize views and agree on a common boundary line.

“That the agreement would be gazetted for implementation and that the resolution of the interstate boundary shall not exceed two (2) more joint meetings” .

Earlier, Ibezim had said both states were one and the same and that land boundaries should not be a basis for dispute. He said “population grows exponentially but land is fixed”, and therefore the need to demarcate the boundary to avoid disputes.

His Enugu counterpart, Ossai, called for more creative thinking and strategy in handling boundary definition, and noted that some of the conflicts along the boundary may be ignited by land grabbers and advocated for a home-grown solution to the boundary issues as a way forward.