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C'RIVER VOWS TO RESIST FURTHER MOVES TO CEDE TERRITORY

By NBF News

The Cross River State Government and people of the state have vowed to resist with all its might any attempt or move to cede any of its territory to any country or state in Nigeria.

It stated that it would be preposterous to lose any part of her territory again in any guise shortly after Bakassi was ceded to Cameroun following the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of October 10, 2002.

In a press statement made available to Daily Sun and signed by Mr. Patrick Ugbe, Chief Press Secretary and Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, he maintained that the rumours making the rounds on alleged plot by Camerounians to claim Obudu Ranch 'was not only malicious but a well articulated attempt from yet to be ascertained quarters to undermine the tourism initiatives of the state government, incite the passions of the indigenes of the state including the host community of the Obudu Mountain Resort, and generally cause disaffection and instability in the state.'

Ugbe, who described such rumour as 'very unfortunate,' averred that the state was still reeling in all ramifications from the ceding of Bakassi to the Republic of Cameroun and therefore frowned seriously at this rumour and called on those behind it to desist from such unwholesome acts.

According to him, 'The relevant sector of the Nigeria-Cameroun international boundary has been well defined by the Anglo-German Agreement of 1913 and other legal instruments, which were upheld by the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of October 10, 2002.' 'Following the judgment, the sector was traced and physically confirmed by the Nigeria-Cameroun Joint Technical Team (JTT), which comprises of technical experts from Nigeria and Cameroun as well as the United Nations in November/December last year.'

He disclosed that Nigeria-Cameroun boundary in the vicinity of the Obudu Cattle Ranch was clearly defined and fell within Anglo-German Pillars 100 and 101 contained in Article 18 of the referred Agreement. The agreement reads in part: 'From Pillar 100, the boundary follows the thalweg of the Amiri River upstream as far as the source of its western head-water, crosses the watershed and then follows the thalweg of the Magbe River, passing the Pillar 101 where the Aliketti (German Aligetti)-Okwa road crosses this river, to Pillar 102 at the junction of the River Magbe with the River Oyi (German Oji) (Mapu).'

'The delineation of the boundary line on satellite images map covering the whole boundary length made by the JTT using the agreement does not put the Obudu Cattle Ranch or any of its part in the Republic of Cameroun.'

'Also, during the field tracing, the Ranch was found to be entirely in Nigeria territory. We submit further that though the Obudu mountain range stretches from Nigeria into Cameroun, the portion of this range in Nigeria is what constitutes the Obudu Cattle Ranch,' it stated.

In the light of the foregoing, he called on all indigenes of the state to stay calm and view the rumours with misgivings as the handiwork of mischief makers.