Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has expressed optimism that the return of peace in Southern Cameroon will pave the way for the return of thousands of Cameroonian refugees to their home country.
This is as the Cameroonian Consul General in Calabar, Onono Patrice, commended the government and people of Cross River State for showing tremendous hospitality to the refugees.
Ayade, who spoke while receiving a delegation of consular officials, led by Patrice, at the governor’s office in Calabar, commended the Cameroonian government for taking steps to bring normalcy to the troubled parts of the country’s South.
“I am delighted to host you today as you come as a messenger to deliver the message of the impending visit of my counterpart in South West Cameroon. I want to hereby tell you that I have without hesitation approved the courtesy visit which you will organise with the secretary to government and my commissioner for foreign affairs. They will work with you towards fixing a date that will be suitable for me to receive him here in Calabar afterwards embark on a journey to Obudu,” he said.
Earlier, the consul general told Governor Ayade he was instructed by President Paul Biya to intimate him of the desire of the governor of that country’s South West region to visit the state.
“Our visit this morning was instructed by the Republic of Cameroon President, Biya. He had instructed a consul visit to our refugees in Cross River State and this consul visit is a mission of the governor of the South West region which shares border with Cross River state. And Cross River State is hosting about 62 percent of the Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria,” Patrice said.
Meanwhile, Governo Ayade has enlisted the support of northern leaders for the ongoing superhighway construction.
Ayade also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfil his earlier pledge when he perfored the groundbreaking of the project.
“As I watch time run and my tenure runs to a close in a couple of years, as I watch the superhighway, indeed, the deep seaport which form the basis of a new Nigeria, a generational and a philosophical change I had envisaged for this country, being treated with indifference by the Federal Government, I seethe with rage that a country so awash with solid mineral deposits, crude oil deposits, huge human resources, young, intelligent and smart minds, is being reduced to want in body, in spirit and in soul, occasioned by the poor exploitation of our own resources,” he said.