BOUNDARY DISPUTE: ODEY OPENS THE NATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION INTERACTIVE SESSION IN CALABAR.

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By Deputy Governor’s Press Unit, Calabar.

The Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey has declared open a one-day interactive session on United Nations Confidence Building Measures Along the Nigeria-Cameroun International Boundary.

 

The interactive session which was held at the Transcorp Hotels, Calabar on Thursday, was organized by the National Boundary Commission -NBC in conjunction with the State Boundary Committee-SBC.

 

The Deputy Governor who doubles as Chairman of the State Boundary Committee, opened the meeting which was themed ‘Confidence Building and Inclusive Participation of the Rural Communities Along the Nigeria-Cameroun Boundary for Sustainable Development’ said Cross Riverians expect the National Boundary Commission and other agencies to do something about the injustices that had been done to the state in ceding her land to Cameroun and to a neighbouring state.

 

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome you, the Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, here represented by Hajiya Adiza Abba and other members of the team. I strongly believe that this visit is in furtherance of the continuous and measured conclusion of the full implementation of the boundary resolutions in the Nigeria and Cameroun International Boundary.

 

“In addition, the composition of the Cross River State delegation headed by me, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State Comprises of the members of the State Boundary Committee and all other relevant stakeholders who are instrumental to achieving the goal of this engagement tagged “Confidence Building Measures Along the Nigeria-Cameroun International Boundary”.

 

“Director General, Sir, your determination towards actualizing the Needs Assessment for the border communities along the said International Boundary is worth commending and I must say that we appreciate the critical consideration to review the needs of these border communities as times have changed since the last review was done.

 

“However, prolonged delay in border policies as it relates to the implementation of the International Boundary judgment has gradually eroded the confidence of the communities in the activities of the United Nations. To add to this, the effective and transparent execution of such exercises has remained one of the main challenges in gaining the confidence of the people. There is no doubt that the peculiar case in Bakassi has sent shock waves to other parts of the state which has depleted the confidence in the implementation of the government’s intervention programmes.

 

“Having said this, I wish to state on behalf of Cross River State, that we still feel a sense of injustice that has been done to us as a state by the ceding of Bakassi. We also as a state feel a sense of clear injustice by decisions that might have been taken in the past in which very crucial parts of our land have been ceded to our neighboring state thereby costing us the status of an oil-producing state.

 

These and many more are the demands of Cross Riverians which we believe that the National Boundary Commission and other agencies will look into in creating succour for the people of Cross River State.

 

“We do, however, understand the complexity that you have mentioned earlier. But we believe that certain measures need to be urgently taken in order for us to have the confidence that we are here to talk about today.

 

“The measures which are intended to focus on Energy, Trade, Health, Education, Livelihood and so on should be designed to reflect the peculiarities of border communities which are diverse in lifestyle, vegetation and terrain characteristics. Thus, on the part of the State Government and other relevant stakeholders, we shall render all appropriate support towards the effective implementation of the Needs Assessment.

 

“Finally, to crown it all, the needs of our communities come with the opportunities for us to impact change, this line of thought is what has propelled us to commit towards the goal of this exercise. We pray and hope that we can through this medium improve the lives of our border communities.

 

“I welcome you all and hereby declare the deliberations open. Thank you.”

 

Other speakers at the event which was attended by the Member Representing Calabar Municipality in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Stanley Nsemoh, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ededem Ani, amongst others, included the Surveyor-General of the State, Surv. Patrick E. Bassey, the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, HRM, Etinyin (Dr) Etim Okon Edet, and Paramount Rulers of four other LGAs.

Amawu Cletus Albert Amawu

I'm a Journalist, Host/Producer of The Verdict, your voice of conscience on FAD FM 93.1, Calabar, Public Affairs Commentator, Social Change Agent.

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