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Land disputes causing mindless violence in Nigeria: Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says bold, fair-minded, courageous and patriotic leadership is required to settle border disputes causing mindless violence across Nigeria.

“Land is an emotive issue, and this is so, not just in our country, but everywhere; it accounts in many cases for the mindless violence and sometimes fatalities that result from border disputes and clashes,” stated the vice president. “For many of our people, it is the very essence of their identity; in some cases, it is tied to ancestry and ancient unresolved rivalries.”

Mr Osinbajo made this submission in his opening address at a meeting with deputy governors and the National Boundary Commission (NBC) regarding boundary issues on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The vice president noted that the meeting was conceived from discussions he had with several deputy governors at various times.

He added that deputy governors were concerned that NBC’s potential to settle disputes and minimise inter-state rancour and instability would be greatly assisted if the commission interacted directly with responsible state functionaries.

“I fully agreed that such an interaction was necessary and important. After all, the users of the services of the commission are best suited to give useful feedback. In any event, such an interaction would be an opportunity to jointly review the work of the commission so far and to chart a pathway to peaceful management of our inter-state boundaries,” the vice president further stated.

Mr Osinbajo added that lost on many combatants “is the fact that many of these boundary lines are in many cases merely for administrative convenience; the sorts of disputes we have, even if there are, shouldn’t result in violence and dislocation of so many of our people.”

According to him, handling border disputes requires a good knowledge of the issues and sincerity of purpose and sensitivity.

Mr Osinbajo disclosed that the committees were under the chairmanship of the deputy governors across the states of the federation and the permanent secretary at the FCT.

“While the vice president chairs the internal National Border Commission (the apex body for resolving border disputes), I believe that bold, fair-minded, just, courageous and patriotic leadership is required to settle border disputes without politicisation and heightened tensions,” stated the vice president.

(NAN)

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