Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor Mr Moses Ekpo on Saturday urged the Federal Government to provide the National Boundary Commission (NBC) with special intervention funds to enable it to resolve critical boundary crises nationwide.
Ekpo gave the advice in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ekikere Umoh.
The deputy governor was quoted as giving the advice during a joint boundary meeting with the Abia Deputy Governor Mr Ude Oko Chukwu in Umuahia.
Ekpo stated the call became imperative given the present loss of lives and properties to border skirmishes, especially in Abia and Akwa Ibom.
He noted that apart from creating unhealthy relationship between kith and kin, every boundary crisis is marked by severe job losses, as the ensuing insecurity does not support farming and productive ventures among natives inhabiting affected communities.
The Akwa Ibom deputy governor pointed out that due to the paucity of funds and the global effects of the coronavirus pandemic, states could no longer afford to take up issues that are clearly the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government.
“You can trace the root of the crisis to poverty – when the people from both sides try to make a living through their farm lands.
“Something must be done quickly to alleviate the sufferings of the people along the boundary corridors.
“Consider bringing more and more industries to the boundary areas to generate wealth.
“I want the National Boundary Commission to resonate this to the Federal Government because our people are suffering.
“They have no land on which to plant their crops to make a living.
“Yet these are people who were used to living on their farmlands,” Ekpo said.
Ekpo, who is also the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Boundary Committee, said that as an alternative, the Federal Government could establish viable industries and commercial enterprises in the disputed lands to serve as a means of addressing the source of conflict.
He also called for a review of relevant boundary laws and decrees, saying that artificial boundaries should not be made to put brothers asunder.
He gave an assurance that the Akwa Ibom State Government would continue to support everything done to alleviate the sufferings of the people and bring to an end the perennial border crises.