By Stanley Onyekwere
There is clear move to end the lingering land dispute between FCT and Niger state, following the suspension of intensive marking and demolition of structures in the border town of Dakwa by Development Control Department of the FCT Administration.
To this end, representatives of Niger State and the FCT Administration have returned to the dialogue table of identifying and re-establishing the boundary line between between them and permanently resolve the issue.
In particular, the two parties therefore 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. End
The Director, FCT Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, who hosted the meeting in Abuja last week, reiterated that all parties, especially Chairman, Tafa Local Government Area, should suspend all developments in the disputed area pending determination of the exact boundary.
Galadima while revealing that vast area of Dakwa earmarked for Abuja Automotive Village have been encroached into, said there is need to hasten the boundary issue, in order to mitigate the menace.
“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”, he noted.
Similarly, Director, FCT Department of Survey and Mapping, Mahmood Bashir Mahmood, who noted that Dakwa is actually in the FCT, not Niger State, but it is just that both parties have not gone round to trace the boundary.
He explained that there are 17 pillars some of whom it is possible must have been removed by developments, hence the need to re-establish them and erect intermediate points in the area.
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.
On his part, Niger State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Moukhtar Nasale , who led the state delegation, disclosed that his State had to calm down 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. If any issue, we should talk about it.
Nasale said: “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.”
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,” he stressed.