Nigeria: Peace in Sight, As Kaduna, Plateau Communities Meet to Resolve Boundary Dispute

27 March 2020

There are high hopes that the age-long land dispute between the Ganawuri community in Riyom Local Government Area in Plateau State and their neighbours, Zankan community in Kaura Local Government, Kaduna State will soon be over.

This followed a peace meeting recently held in Jos, which involved leaders of the two communities.

The communities have been enmeshed in a boundary dispute for a long time resulting in clashes between members of the communities.

While the people of Zankan claim that the boundary between them and Ganawuri is a bridge in Ganawuri, the other side is claiming that the boundary is located at a bridge in Zankan.

However, at the meeting, put together by the the Plateau State Peace Building Agency (PPBA), and the Kaduna State Peace Commission, with support from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the warring sides agreed to consolidate on previous efforts to ensure peace returns to the area.

The Ataa Afon of Ganawuri, Yakubu Chaimang, said they would work very hard to ensure that peace is restored to the affected communities and a lasting solution to the dispute is found.

He said the dispute has been on for long now but was sure all issues would be resolved at the next meeting of the two sides.

Similarly, the Agwam A'fan Takad, Tobias Wada said he was sure that the two communities would embrace peace soon.

He regretted that the dispute had led to the displacement of many people on both sides and assured that leaders on both sides are determined to resolve all issues.

The Director General of Plateau State Peace Building Agency (PPBA), Joseph Lengmang, said the meeting had found a common ground between the two warring communities.

In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Kaduna Peace Commission, Priscilla Ankut, said a number of historical issues, political and socio-economic factors all contributed to fuelling the dispute.

She said the roadmap outlined for resolving the problem involved a detailed analysis of the problem, which has given them a better clarity of what has been occurring in the affected communities.

Ankut said it was agreed that youth and women groups as well as all the multiple actors in the affected places would be involved in the process.

Benue/Plateau Trust reports that residents of both communities are also optimistic that a lasting peace is in sight.

Maria Yusuf, a housewife in Zankan, said they had been living peacefully with their neighbours since the peace process started.

According to her, they still interact with their neighbours in all social and economic activities and is optimistic that the boundary issue will be resolved soon.

A youth from Ganawuri, Amos, said they have cautioned themselves against doing anything that will lead to confrontation with their neighbours.

He said they have been praying for the dispute to be resolved amicably despite the fact that no one appears to be shifting ground.

Amos called on the youths not to allow themselves to be used by anyone to create trouble, adding that both communities already have vast lands which are lying fallow.

Efforts to reach Riyom Local Government Council Chairman, Mafeng Gwallson for his reaction proved abortive as his phone line was switched off until press time.

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