Ayade seeks better ties with Britain on development, security

Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has decried the lack of collaboration between the state and Britain in various strata of development.

He noted that Cross River rather enjoys robust collaboration with other countries even when Britain is Nigeria’s traditional ally, given the historical colonial ties between both countries.

The governor spoke at the State Executive Council chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar while playing host to the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson.

According to the Cross River state number one citizen, “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 Cross River state and the United Kingdom.

“Experience has shown that 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,” the governor stated.

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 and 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.”

Earlier, Aktison extolled the splendour and beauty of Calabar and said she was delighted to have visited the city.

The British Deputy High Commissioner thanked the governor for hosting her and team and commended his government’s strides in infrastructure and industrialisation.