An Independent Peacebuilding organization, Foundation for Peace Professionals popularly known as Peacepro as expressed concerns over the persistent recurring border related crisis in Nigeria.
The organization, which has been mapping threat to Peace across the country also noted that, intra and Inter state border related crisis had broken out or persisited in more than 20 states of the federation in 2021.
In a statement by the Executive Director of PeacePro, Mr Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the group stated that, in the january edition of PeacePro’s State of Peace report alone, land related communal dispute led to crisis in more than 13 States of the federation and in the subsequent months, similar clashes occured in more than 20 states of the federation .
According to Hamzat, Inter State border clashes between Abia and Akwa Ibom Ikwuano Council communities
and Ini and Obot Akara Council claimed several lives in January, while Clashes between Enugu and Ebonyi State border Communities also claimed many lives.
Hamzat also noted that, intra state border related crisis took place in many States of the federation.
“In Osun State, intra state crisis took place between Erin Osun and Ilobu Communities. In Adamawa State, it was between Lamurod Community and others. In Akwa Ibom, Okopedi and
Ammamong and several other Communities were engaged in armed conflict. In Anambra State, it was between
Aguleri, Umueri and Umuoba. In Benue State, Ibilla took up arms against
Ukpa community. In Cross River, Abakang was against Alok. In Delta State, Effium was against Ezza community. In Taraba State, Tiv and Jukun in
Chachenji village took up arms against each other and several other States across the federation”. He said.
Hamzat also decree the none implementation of several court judgements relating to land disputes in the country, saying that government should not continue to disregard its own institutions, as that would amount to culpable in the persistent crisis of land in the country.
According to him, there are several court judgements in the country relating to land disputes, including surpeme court judgements that are not yet implemented and some of these judgements are dated back to the 1980’s”.
He noted that the none implementation of these court judgements has encouraged lawlessness across the country, not only from disputing communities, but also from government.
“While PeacePro’s is aware that court judgements are mostly given based on soundness of lawyers and legal technicalities, not necessarily to resolve the matter in a truthful manner, we still beleive that judgements from the highest court in the land over land disputes should not be left un-executed”.
He therefore called on Federal government, state governments and Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) to come up with initiatives to address the numerous border related disputes in the country to avoid persistent bloodshed that has become a regular part of our experience in the country.