Bagudo (Kebbi) (NAN) Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Aiku Bagudu, on Saturday urged communities at the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic to maintain peace, pending the peaceful resolution of the dispute between them.
Bagudu made the appeal on Saturday during a visit to Illo, Bagudo Local Government Area of the state.
Bagudu said that his visit to the area was part of his tour of border communities aimed at resolving disputes between Nigeria and its neighbouring countries.
The governor explained that the move was sequel to the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to seek dialogue to resolve border disputes.
He said the presidential directive was also aimed at observing necessary protocol of border dispute resolution to avoid violent clashes, especially among the ECOWAS members.
He said the areas of disputes between the communities in the two countries were traceable to the colonial era.
“There were no scientific demarcation of border land but cement and stones were placed as boundaries that were obliterated over and due to weather changes, hence the disputes that had led to avoidable clashes,” he said.
He said that Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Boundary Commission were parts of the protocol to resolve disputes in a friendly manner as neighbours.
He expressed optimism that the exercise would be successful because ECOWAS members and the communities had historical ties with one another.
The governor said the Federal Government has deployed security personnel to borders to ensure the protection of lives and property and territorial integrity.
He called on the traditional leaders, politicians and youths in the border communities with flash points to be patient and maintain peace as the Federal and state governments would protect Nigerian territories.
Alhaji Bello Barade, the Director of Personnel Management, Bagudu Local Government, in his remark, commended the efforts of the Federal and the State Governments to end territorial encroachment.
Contributing, the District Head of Kasati, Alhaji Muhammad Wankwai, promised that his people would continue to maintain peace, be law abiding and coexist with their border neighbours.