Oyo state Deputy Governor cum chairman, Oyo state Boundary Commission, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan has recommended a bilateral meeting of boundary committees amongst territory-striving parties in order to facilitate a better understanding of underlying issues and to create a rather seamless method to hasten dispute.
Engr. Olaniyan made this remark while speaking at an interactive session organized by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) alongside other committee members and Deputy Governors of the Southwest zone in Abeokuta.
The Deputy governor avowed that only a joint meeting of both concerned parties will ensure a smooth understanding of individuals involved party’s background thus making it easy to compare notes, make compromises and resolve crisis without any party feeling cheated.
According to tweets he posted on his Twitter handle:
“At Day Two of the interactive session with boundary committees in South West States held in Abeokuta, I reiterated my stand on the importance of dialogue and interstate engagement in solving boundary disputes”
“I also suggested that same is done to solve intra-state boundary disputes as it rises between Local Governments. It is therefore imperative for LGs to constitute boundary committees.”
The Deputy governor further said he believes in the pattern of give and take adding that boundary dispute resolution is not a winner takes it all but it’s a case of “no victor, no vanquished”.
He thereby enjoined the National Boundary Commission to move to implement resolutions from dispute mediation so that all parties will know their rights, privileges and territories and crises will not rise again after a peace accord has been reached.
He pointed out that the traditional institutions have a role to play in territory marking but the government is trying to incorporate them to align with patterns of administration, stating that their roles in addressing border communities cannot be relegated.
Addressing the committee, the host governor, the Ogun state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun enjoined the delegates to draw up practical recommendations that will serve as a template for all boundary dispute resolution in the country.
He added that the people at the communities will be at the receiving end and will suffer the effects of boundary related crisis and they should try to save the people from such suffering.
The Deputy Governor of Ogun state, Engineer Noimat Salako-Oyedele said that there has been a good relationship between Ogun and Oyo states and this has helped in deescalating disputes that could have snowballed into crises.
She called on the NBC to act as an independent arbiter to review existing policies and help in resolving lingering boundary disputes that exist between both states.
In their separate remarks, Deputy Governors from Osun, Lagos, Ondo and Ekiti unanimously agreed that it is necessary to look into the boundary related issues and resolve them to engender understanding and strengthen the relationship between all states.
Emeritus Professor Anthony Asiwaju who chaired the plenary opined that boundaries are bridges which should connect minds and communities and should not be misjudged as a course of dispute.