Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday gathered the 36 deputy governors and the National Boundary Commission (NBC) to the Presidential Villa, Abuja over boundary disputes among different states.
The meeting took place at the Old Banquet Hall in Aso Rock.
At the meeting, Osinbajo told the deputy governors that only bold, fair-minded, courageous, and patriotic leadership is required to settle border disputes without politicization and heightened tensions.
The vice president said that the meeting was conceived from discussions he had at various times with several deputy governors.
He said that deputy governors were concerned that NBC’s potential to settle disputes and minimize inter-state rancor 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.
“And 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; and we cannot stress this enough: the attempt to try and resolve boundary issues as peacefully as possible.
“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.
“ 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.
“But 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 Osinbajo, who is also Chairman of the NBC, handling border disputes requires a good knowledge of the issues, and sincerity of purpose and sensitivity.
He said it could only be effectively done at the highest levels of governance which was why the NBC (Establishment Act) 2006, provided organs at all three levels of government to establish State Boundary Committees.
Osinbajo said 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 politicization and heightened tensions.
“ Very often you find that where politicians play ethnic or religious games, it merely exacerbates otherwise straightforward issues, and may frequently result in violence and death.
“I believe it is responsible leadership that can sit at the table with other leaders and agrees to give and take, make concessions that are often difficult and be able to communicate the issues to their constituents and populace.
“ It is that kind of courageous leadership the Law had in mind when those of us who are put into positions of responsibility with respect to border disputes are placed in those positions.
“In that difficult but crucial enterprise, the commission has a vital and sensitive role to play as an expert body, and as an honest and trustworthy broker.
“It is supposed to be balanced, which is why we have the members of the commission who are from all the six geo-political zones and they have introduced themselves already.’’
He said the commission was a public resource, which credibility in dispute resolution was fundamental; therefore, all had a duty to support the commission.
Osinbajo said the commission had to be kept honest and on its toes, all the time as its role was central to everything done in border dispute resolution.
“So I hope this interaction will help the process of achieving some of these objectives.
“This meeting is not meant to review specific border disputes or issues otherwise we would not leave here till the end of the month.
“We have provided just for your information, a list of the current status of border disputes and the list of all border disputes,’’ he said.
Osinbajo assured the participants at the meeting that the board of the commission would give urgent and full attention to all recommendations that were made at the important meeting.
Police deploying technology to tackle insecurity, says IGP
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has said that the Nigeria Police Force is deploying technology in virtually all areas of its operations in tackling new waves of banditry and kidnapping in the country.
According to him, the Marine unit had been reactivated, the crime section digitalised, drones have been acquired while the Technical Intelligent Unit is fully functional to cope with new trends in crime and criminality.
The IGP, who is in Akwa Ibom State for the inauguration of the Special Protection Unit Base in Onna Local Government Area of the state, disclosed this while addressing officers and men of the State Command, Ikot Akpana-Abia, Uyo on Wednesday.
He said the Nigeria Police must work with time and modernity to contain the ever dynamic crime waves adding that training and retraining had been the cardinal point of the present administration.
According to him, “Crime and criminality is a dynamic thing; it is not something that is static. It moves with time, it moves with modernisation, it moves with technology.
“Nobody has ever told us that human beings can be stolen, now we see human beings being stolen and taken away and they’re asking you to bring money.
“That is a new crime which is called kidnapping. We know of armed robbery and now we started hearing of armed banditry.
“So we must work with time modernity and therefore one of our cardinal principles in the job now is to train and retrain ourselves. So training is the cardinal point of our administration.
“We just started training our 10,000 recruits effective last Monday and we have been able to change the curriculum to reflect modernism.
“Since we came we have gotten a lot, we have just been given 200 brand new pick up vehicles that are very strong, by the Police Trust Fund. We have made our Airwings very effective, we are proud of putting six helicopters in the air at one time.
“Our Marine segment has been reactivated,our Technical Intelligent Unit is working. We have acquired drones,we have digitalised our crime section. We have involved a lot of technology in our works” The IGP said.
He encouraged police officers to constantly educate themselves by reading and listening to the news on television in order to acquaint themselves with the latest happenings in society.
Baba, however, lamented that before the launching of Operation Restore Peace to the South East, the secessionists had demoralised the workforce with unprovoked attacks and killings, adding that the force is working tirelessly to equip itself with tools to aid operations.
NAPTIP reunites 32 trafficking victims with families in Benue
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons, Benue State Zonal Command on Wednesday, reunited 32 victims of human trafficking with their families.
The victims were intercepted by the policemen on January 5th this year while being trafficked to Osun State but were reunited with their families on Wednesday after they were taken home in two buses accompanied by NAPTIP officials in the company of officials of Ukum Local Government Area.
NAPTIP Commander, Makurdi Zonal Command, Gloria Bai, told journalists that most of the 32 victims were underage children.
Bai said that the suspect, Angbiandoo Akaasema, and the 32 children, all from Ukum Local Government Area of the state were en route to Osun State when they were intercepted.
She said, “Out of the 32 young children, 21 were already there but only returned home for Christmas while 11 others were being taken as freshers.
The Zonal Commander said that the victims while in custody were profiled and discovered that it was more of a business owned by a family member who is in Osun State.
“The suspect said her husband owns a Non-Governmental-Organization and wants to help the children to get access to education because of the crisis in their area.
“So when they landed in Osun, they distributed them to people in their church to do house helps and shop attendants and in return, the people send them to school.
“We are yet to find out whether the organization is genuine and if the children were being exploited but the suspect is still in our custody for further investigation.
The NAPTIP Zonal Commander who noted that some of the children were taken at the age of 10 and others below 18 years pointed out that it is against the law to engage any child below the age of 18 as a house help or for any form of labour.
“Three of the children are from the same parents and from what we heard, they are ready to give out all their children even when they don’t know where the children are being headed.
Bai urged members of the public to give the agency information that would make it detect human traffickers and called on local government chairmen and traditional rulers in the state to assist the agency in sensitising the people.
She urged parents to plan their families and give birth to children they would be able to care for rather than distribute their children to unknown people.