November 25, (THEWILL) – The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade has sought the help of Britain in checking the threats posed by Ambazonia Separatists fighters in Southern Cameroon.
The Governor spoke at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar while playing host to the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson.
Ayade shared Cross River’s security concerns with the visiting diplomat, including threat posed by the Ambazonian separatist fighters in Southern Cameroon which shares boundaries with the state
He solicited Britain’s assistance in the areas of security in form of 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 is at the front of the war zone”, he said.
Professor Ayade also decried the low level of collaboration between his state and Britain and sought for an improvement in relations.
“In the course of my stay in office as Governor, I have seen that there has been very little deliberate effort from your embassy to get close to the grassroots.
“Perhaps 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 but this is not the case with Britain. And this ought not to be so given Nigeria’s history with Britain as our colonial master.
“So your visit, therefore, should open up the opportunity for greater collaboration between the Cross River State and the United kingdom.
“Experience has shown that the relationship with the national doesn’t distill perfectly to the sub-national.
“So your visit to a sub-national at the state level gives you a true perspective into the issues and problems of the Niger Delta”, Professor Ayade requested.
Earlier, Atkinson extolled the splendour and beauty of Calabar and said she was delighted to have visited the city.