Peace Critical To Development- Imoke
San Francisco, Sept 06, (THEWILL) - Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has restated his administration’s determination to ensure the state is peaceful to attain its vision.
Imoke while receiving the Nigeria-US Bi-National Commission led by Under Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bola Kuku, during a courtesy visit to Calabar, said, the state can only realize its policy thrust in Tourism and Agriculture when security is guaranteed, stressing that through this effort Cross River remains the most peaceful in Niger Delta.
Imoke noted that based on the commission’s activities in the Niger Delta and Cross River being the last to be visited in the region, the state is in tandem with it to ensure it impacts positively on the people despite its lean resources from the Federation Account, pointing that the state would continue to play its role to ensure that there is peace which is paramount to economic development.
The Governor said though the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun had since been concluded, its attaining effects have not been fully resolved especially in the area of security, and therefore called for the introduction of a joint military patrol within the territorial boundary between Cross River and Cameroun.
He reasoned that with the curbing of militancy in the Niger Delta and the incessant harassment of fishermen in the high sea by Cameroun gerndames, there was need to enforce security within the area but added that despite the challenges the state remains peaceful.
The Governor decried the way and manner Federal Government Agencies ceded its oil resources to Akwa Ibom State, stating that it was an unfair and unjust way of compensating the state for losing Bakassi to Cameroun. Imoke disclosed that Cross River has identified areas of cooperation with other states in the region with the formation of an economic commission rather than create competition amongst them as the state believes that the critical component of government is peace, adding that the state has played a significant role in the training of ex-militants in the post amnesty programme with the provision of accommodation for the programme.
The Governor reasoned that the Bi-National Commission is important with its focus on security which means it holds peace in high esteem as a great component of development.
Amb. Bola Kuku, Under Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and leader of the Nigeria-US Binational Commission working group on Niger Delta and Regional Security, said the Commission was inaugurated in April 2010 to inculcate a high relationship between Nigeria and United States and that since its inception, it has been meeting at high levels with emphasis on good governance, accountability, transparency and integrity.
Kuku noted that activities within the Niger Delta has received global attention and that he was impressed by the various programmes put in place by government to improve the conditions of the people of the region, adding that they were in Cross River to see the activities in the state and publicize them in their reports.
He, however, invited Governor Imoke to participate in their next meeting in the United States to enable him showcase Cross River and commended the Governor for initiating numerous projects in the state to tackle youth restiveness and poverty thereby creating jobs and wealth.