The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, intervened in the dispute over ownership of limestone deposit between Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim in Kogi State, and Okpella in Edo State.
The motion on the issue, which came as a matter of Urgent National Importance, moved by Abubakar Momoh (SDP-Edo), was unanimously adopted by the House.
Momoh said the people of Okpella and Okene had been living in peace and harmony and engaged in inter-tribal marriages for years.
“This peaceful co-existence is being threatened by the purported sale of OBU Limestone in Okpella, owned by Okpella Cement Factory (Edo State), to Dangote Company by Alhaji Ado Ibrahim.
“This is with a view to frustrating BUA Cement Company which acquired Okpella cement factory as a private investor,” he said.
According to the lawmaker, BUA has also built a cement factory at Okpella, adding that the project is slated for inauguration in June.
“The House recalls that when in 1994, this same ownership of OBU Limestone deposit arose, the Okpella community, as law-abiding entity, went to court on the issue.
“The suit was filed against Ado Ibrahim and Company (AICO) which prompted AICO to file application in 1997 to Okpella community for local consent.
“The consent was turned down on account of having already granted same to Edo Cement which owned the mining license of the said deposit,” he said.
Momoh said if nothing was done immediately to settle the matter, it might lead to a clash between the parties.
He, therefore, urged the security agencies to make adequate security arrangement in the location of the company to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
“The governments of Edo and Kogi states should intervene and settle the matter amicably before it degenerates into serious inter-communal clash between the two states.
“The National Boundary Commission is urged to intervene with a view to permanently establishing the boundary between Edo and Kogi.”
Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta) told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the motion was to ensure peaceful resolution of the controversy surrounding the company.
“In line with the motion, we, in one of the prayers, asked the Boundary Commission and security agents to step in to avoid any loss of lives or property,” he said.
He said the third prayer asked the communities to stay out of the dispute and leave the matter for governments of both states.
“The essence is for there to be peace and respect for the rule of law, so that nobody takes law into his or her hands,” he added.
Ogor said the motion was good.
The Acting Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the plenary session, aligned with the prayers of the motion.
He, therefore, advised the two communities to maintain peace and assured that the House would do its best to resolve the issue.