Following a boundary clash between Lokpanta community in Umunochi Local Government Area of Abia State and Ishiagu community in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, one person was shot dead, another identified as Chukwuma Aka declared missing, while many others sustained injuries.
The boundary dispute between the two neighbouring states had spanned more than 60 years.
Oliver Ossi representing Ivo state constituency made this known in a motion of urgent public importance to the House of Assembly on Thursday, saying the renewed dispute between the two communities needs urgent and expedited action before it worsens.
According to Ossi, when we got a report that one person from our community was killed and one Chukwuma Akwa declared missing, we alerted the police, but these people also attacked a construction company and carted away their working tools.
“This land dispute has lasted for over 50 years. I remember that when we were in the south-eastern region, there was a boundary settlement committee set up by the then south-eastern region government headed by one S. W Holland in May 1949. In that committee, there were over 17 members and they resolved that a place called Ekenyi should be the boundary between us and Lokpanta community.
“The people of Lokpanta in 1950 reneged on the resolution of the committee and decided to challenge the matter at the High Court sitting in Owerri. The judgment delivered by Justice Egbuna ruled in our favour and further directed that there should be delineation of the boundary,” he narrated.
The lawmaker decried the intractable dispute despite efforts to find lasting solutions, following the failed efforts to invite the National Boundary Commission to delineate the disputed boundary.
He recalled that a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, had personally written to the Boundary Commission inviting it to delineate the boundary, but it was yet to honour the invitation, adding that several high powered committees had been set up in the past to resolve the matter but to no avail.
Ossi condemned the continuous invasion of security agents from Abia State into Ishiagu community, describing it as illegal and unacceptable to the people.
In its response, the state House of Assembly set up a seven-man committee headed by Chris Usulor representing Ezza South state constituency to wade into the dispute.
Speaker Ogbannaya Nwifuru while announcing the members of the committee during plenary disclosed that he had contacted the speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly on the matter and that the committee would liaise with the one to be constituted by their Abia counterpart in order to find lasting solutions to the dispute.


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