From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu says that Nigeria is always disposed towards maintaining peace with its neighbours even on thorny boundary issues.
Governor Bagudu stated this in Birnin Kebbi on Tuesday when he received a Federal Government delegation led by the Director-General of the National Boundary Commission (NBC), Surveyor Adamu A Adaji, on a courtesy visit.
The Kebbi State Governor also said that Nigeria has always been her brothers’ keeper, even on issues that may likely end up in wars.
Governor Bagudu cited the case of the transfer of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun, saying, ‘Nigeria ensured that the exercise was peacefully done, rather than going to war.’
The governor noted that border issues fall on the exclusive legislative list, hence, fall on the sole jurisdictions of the Federal Government.
Bagudu, however, said that effective interface among the three tiers of government will help to achieve more satisfactory outcomes on such issues.
The Kebbi Governor, however, mentioned instances of mutual suspicion between Nigeria and some of her neighbours, sometimes resulting in skirmishes.
He cited the case of the presence of Benionise security agents near Tsamiya in 2016, which led to tensions rose, but frayed nerves were calmed when the then President Boni sent emissaries.
‘He sent the then Foreign Affairs Minister to Lolo and we met and the issue was amicably resolved,’ the governor explained.
According to him, history has shown that the causes conflicts are not always large, but may be be due to little incidences that get out of hand.
Governor Bagudu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sustaining the tradition of ensuring that peace thrives between Nigeria and her neighbours.
He promised to sustain the support and the desired political will to mobilise the populace to ensure that lasting peace was achieved between the state and her Nigerien and Benionise neighbours.
The Director-General of National Boundary Commission (NBC), Adamu Adaji, had earlier told Bagudu that the Commission visited the state for the continuation of talks between Nigeria and the Benin Republic on the planned construction of a border bridge by the two countries on River Wara.
The DG acknowledged the commitment of Governor Bagudu to the progress of not only Kebbi State, but of Nigeria as a whole.
He said that the meeting was aimed at strategising on how to successfully execute the project that will be mutually beneficial to the two countries.
Earlier, the Kebbi State Surveyor General, Alhaji Kabiru Ibrahim Argungu, told the governor that the delegation was in the state on a national assignment that would bolster border cooperation between Nigeria and the Benin Republic.
According to him, already series of meetings were held ahead of the exercise in order to arrive at a common front
Argungu appreciated the support of Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu towards ensuring that border issues are resolved amicably.