Following the recent demolition of about 200 solid structures in the border town of Dakwa by authorities of the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Niger State and the FCT have said they would determine the demarcation between them and put an end to the lingering land dispute between the two neighbouring states.
The decision to re-establish the boundary line between the duo was reached at a meeting of representatives of governments of Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The Director, Department of Development Control in the FCT, Tpl Muktar Galadima who hosted the meeting in his office, called on all parties, especially Chairman, Tafa Local Government Area of Niger state to suspend all developments in the disputed area pending a determination of the exact boundary.
He said, “You have great work to do, maybe through your ward heads, to stop all developments so we won’t have colossal loss when the correct boundary is determined.”
Tpl Muktar Galadima revealed that that area of Dakwa was earmarked for Abuja Automotive Village.
While responding, the visiting Niger State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Moukhtar Nasale disclosed that his State had to calm down the nerves of the affected residents, even as he noted that there was no need for Niger and FCT to bicker over land, but rather maintain their cordial relationship.
“We got a distress call over the demolition exercise in Dakwa, as well as a report from Tafa LGA, and due to the nature of the report, which appeared confrontational, the Governor detailed the deputy Governor to intervene.
“We talked to the residents to calm down and not take laws into their hands. Most of FCT land was donated by Niger State so no need for us to bicker over land.” Nasale said.
The Commissioner also disclosed that there was a comprehensive boundary committee set up to resolve the matter and the committee will submit its report soon, adding that they were happy the FCTA suspended demolition exercise in Dakwa.
“We believe that the area falls under the jurisdiction of Niger State and the FCT is saying the same thing, so we are here to look at the grey areas before the committee concludes its findings,” Nasale added.
In his comments, Director, FCT department of Survey, Muhammed Bashir Mahmood countered, saying Dakwa was actually in the FCT, not Niger State.
“It is just that we have not gone round to trace the boundary. There are 17 pillars some of whom it is possible must’ve been removed by developments. We will re-establish them and erect intermediate points”, Mahmood added
Mahmood, while hinting on the possibility of compensating those who will likely be affected, called for all to keep six meters -three on either side of the boundary line.
The two parties agreed to meet soon in Minna, Niger State, to finalise discussions and constitute a technical team that would trace the boundary and clear the confusion.
Source: Voice of Nigeria