Imoke Restates Call For Joint Patrol Between Nigeria And Cameroon

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CALABAR, March 08, (THEWILL) - Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has reiterated his call for a joint military patrol made up of Nigerian Navy and its Cameroonian counterpart within the territorial waters bordering the two countries.

Imoke, who made the call while receiving the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada during a courtesy call in Calabar, reasoned that other countries like Equatorial Guinea and Central Africa Republic could be co-opted into the joint patrol because of the sensitivity and strategic location of the area, stressing that this will go a long way to tackle the activities of bunkers and pirates.

He explained that following the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon, the incidence of piracy and other vices have sprung up within the territorial border of the two neighbours which calls for a joint military patrol.

The governor noted that the relationship between the State and the Navy is not only cordial but has strengthened the security within the State and has even gone further to boost other sectors like health and education as indigenes of the State have also benefitted from programmes put it by the navy for its officers and men, promising that some of the challenges being faced by the Navy in the State will be addressed by the State government.

He assured that the human and material resources of the navy which have been expended for the development of the state especially in the area of its security will be sustained and maintained for its growth because of some security threats between it and the neighbouring countries because it holds the belief that the navy can provide as well as is committed to arrest the challenges.

Imoke, who noted that the State faces some threats following the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon needs a joint patrol among Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and other countries within the Bight of Guinea, stressed that the exercise will curb the activities of bunkers, pirates and militants within the territorial waters bordering Nigeria and those countries.

The governor assured that the State government will extend its developmental programme in Akpabuyo Local Government Area to include the Navy Secondary located there to enable it benefit from its road network and water extension programmes while noting that the Nigerian Navy has been a part of state security and tourism programmes.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, who was accompanied by the out-going Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrim and incoming Commander, Rear Admiral Olufemi Ogunjimi, commended the State government for donating a gun boat to the Nigerian Navy to boost its activities within the State and disclosed that her visit was to acquaint herself with the naval formation within Cross River and Akwa Ibom States which fall within Eastern Naval Command.

Obada, who congratulated Imoke for winning the February 25, 2012, governorship election in the state, reasoned that he earned the peoples’ mandate because he is committed to the development of the State, adding that she was pleased with the good things being said about Cross River.

She therefore appealed to the State government to extend its various developmental programmes executed in Akpabuyo Local Government Area to the Navy Secondary School in the area.