FG transborder initiative will reduce conflicts — A’Ibom govt

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The Akwa Ibom Government has commended the Federal Government transborder initiative through the National Boundary Commission (NBC), saying it will reduce conflict in the border communities.

The Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, disclosed this during a tour of border communities in the state, which took the team to Ibiono Ibom and Obot Akara on Thursday.

Ekpo, who was represented by Mr Nkopuruk Ekaiko, the Permanent Secretary, Deputy Governor’s office, said the initiative was a welcome development that would reduce tension and unnecessary conflicts.

According to him, the initiative will offer indigenes of Akwa Ibom and Abia living along the border flashpoints the hope to go about their normal businesses without any fear of molestation and harm.

Ekpo said the federal government would build medical and school facilities within the border communities to encourage communal living, pending when actual demarcation for administrative convenience would take place.

“Transborder Co-operation initiative, a novel idea evolved by the NBC to checkmate border hostilities and promote inter-border peace and understanding, has received the endorsement of the Akwa Ibom government.

“The initiative will offer opportunity to hitherto warring communities to focus on reconciliatory efforts while the federal government will be assisting them in setting up critical life-touching infrastructure at the border communities as they await the final demarcation of the borders.

“The initiative, if well implemented, will turn out to be the best strategy in reducing tension and conflicts at our nation’s borders, using the instrumentality of economic empowerment for the mutual benefit of all parties.’’

The deputy governor described the system as a win-win situation for the border communities.

He said it would not only stem the tide of wanton destruction of lives and property, but also boost mutual trust and genuine love amongst the border indigenes.

In his remarks, Adamu Adaji, the Director-General, NBC, represented by the Commission’s Director of Internal Boundaries, Mr Nicholas Emiowele, said that the border communities had nothing to fear about the new development.

Adaji said that the new strategy had been successfully test-run on international boundary cases without failure.

He disclosed that the latest effort by the Commission was a direct mandate by the federal government to ensure the maintenance of peace and ensure zero conflict rate at all internal borders of the nation.

Adaji said that following the huge success rate of the strategy at international level, that the Commission decided to test-run it first in Akwa Ibom since the state remains the best in cross-border conflict management. (NAN)