Cross River State seeks collaboration with Britain on security
By Eme Offiong, Calabar
The Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade has reiterated the need for cooperation with the British Government on improving the security architecture of the state.
Professor Ayade made the remark when he received the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson at the Governor’s Office, Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in south-south Nigeria.
Governor Ayade, who described the visit of the British Deputy High Commissioner as the first since 2015, stressed the need for strong collaboration to strengthen its internal and maritime security due to threats from separatist militia in southern republic of Cameroon.
Ending threats by insurgents
According to Ayade, the threats posed by the Ambazonian fighters, as a result of shared boundaries, was negatively impacting Cross River.
He said, “You are the first to visit us as an official of the British embassy and to us this is very exciting. We have had relationships with other countries in different sectors including agriculture, maritime business among others. So, your visit therefore, should open up the opportunity for greater collaboration between Cross River State and the United Kingdom.
“Experience has shown that relationship with the national does not distill perfectly to the sub national. So, your visit to a sub national – the state level – gives you a true perspective of the issues and problems in the Niger Delta.
“We need your (British) assistance for institutional support, technical training or any form of collaboration that can actually isolate Cross River; knowing that we are a border state between Nigeria and Cameroon and at the front of the war zone”.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy British High Commissioner, Gill Atkinson appreciated the governor for the efforts taken to upgrade necessary infrastructure and the investment made to transform the economic landscape of Cross River state through the establishments of agricultural industries.
She promised to inspect completed and ongoing agro-industrial projects of the Ben Ayade led administration next month before the proposed 2021 Carnival Calabar.