Ogun Deputy Governor Urges Accurate Boundary Demarcation to Prevent Conflicts

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News Investigators/ The deputy governor of Ogun State, Noimot Salako-Oyedele has stressed the need to work out proper modalities for the demarcation of boundary lines to avoid conflicts among people.

She also expressed the need to address other socio-economic issues, including trans-border trade, cross-border integration, and adequate security of Nigerians living at the border areas, noting that only then will their livelihoods be improved.

Mrs. Salako-Oyedele made the call at a one-day workshop, organized by the National Boundary Commission in conjunction with the Oyo State Government, themed “Creation of Platform for Local Border Authorities Along Nigeria-Benin International Boundary” held in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The deputy governor, who is the Chairman of the Ogun State Boundary Commission, charged stakeholders vested with border management to accord boundary issues priority attention in affected states and the country at large.

Mrs. Salako-Oyedele noted that though there were government policies that may be of general benefit to the entire country, these policies might be punitive to people in the border communities, adding that a way to balance things out has to be identified and adopted for the general good.

The Deputy Governor while appreciating men and officers of the Nigerian Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service for their efforts at safeguarding the nation’s borders, admonished them to put into consideration the homogeneous nature of the border communities in the discharge of their duties.

Mrs. Salako-Oyedele revealed that the workshop will provide a platform for those present to cross-pollinate ideas in a bid to find a lasting solution to the problem plaguing the border communities within the Nigeria-Benin international boundary.

Also speaking Oyo State Deputy Governor and Chairman Oyo State Boundary Committee, Abdul-Raheem Lawal noted that the time has come to strengthen security, enhance bilateral relationships, promote collaboration, and have a good business relationship between Nigeria and the Benin Republic.

He noted that Nigeria must shift from demarcation between the Republic of Benin and Nigeria for obvious reasons and focus on how to integrate border communities by addressing their challenges such as infrastructures and other basic amenities.

In their separate remarks, representatives of the Lagos Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Olufemi Ajayi, Kwara State Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, represented by Abdullahi Bata, Niger State Deputy Governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba, represented by Idris Aliyu and Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Sen. Umar Abubakar, represented by Mr. Sadiq Marafa, said that the workshop would enhance the relationship between affected countries which will have an impact on the people living in border towns.

The workshop, they noted further, will enhance and foster greater impetus through investment and business relations, ensure smooth and successful operation of securities in border towns, foster bilateral relationships, ensure security and prosperity of people living in border communities, promote cross-border cooperation, leading to more integrated and good border relation and enhance regional development, while commending the National Boundary Commission for its efforts in creating platforms for local border authorities along Nigeria Benin international boundary.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Director General, of the National Boundary Commission, Adamu Adaji, said the workshop was designed to improve trans-border relations between local and international borders, promote development and economic relations, peaceful coexistence among people living in border communities, enhance effective integration border management, help to promote cross border cooperation.

He added that this kind of workshop has been done between Nigeria and Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, and Nigeria and Chad, to promote peace and tranquillity among border communities.

Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency, Junaid Abdullahi an army captain, represented by Sodiq Abdullahi Musa
in his speech commended the National Boundary Commission for its efforts in creating a platform for local border authorities along the Nigeria-Benin international boundary.

He noted that the development of border areas are key component to national development, hence the need to address the issue of insecurity as well as promote a bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Contributing, the Comptroller General, of Nigeria Immigration Service, Caroline Wuraola Adepoju, represented by Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, Vitus Onyeka, and his counterpart in Nigerian Custom Service, Bashir Adeniyi, also represented by Hammi Swomen, called for more synergy and understanding between security agencies and people living in border communities

They added that as security agents, they have been trying their best to educate people in border areas, while also appealing to traditional rulers to educate their subjects against smuggling and other nefarious activities in border towns.

Also speaking, the Onimeko of Imeko, HRH, Oba Benjamin Olanite Alabi, and the Emir of Okuta, Kwara State, HRH, Alhaji Abubakar Sero Idris said people living in border areas in the country have been neglected as there is lack of good roads, electricity, amongst others.

They also noted that the colonial government placed more priority on the issue of border, by providing necessary amenities such as good roads, and other things to ameliorate the suffering of people living in border communities.

The Ogun State Deputy was appointed to Chair the Forum of states that border Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.

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