We must not allow Benin Republic take advantage of our people on Tongeji Island, Abiodun begs FG
The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has appealed to the Federal Government to make life more meaningful for the citizens of the state living on Tongeji Island in Ipokia Local Government Area of the State.
Abiodun made the plea, on Thursday, in his address delivered at the official opening of a two-day interactive session of National Boundary Committees of States in the South-West zone, held in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The governor urged the FG not to allow the neighbouring Benin Republic to take advantage of its proximity to the oil-rich Island.
He said, “Ogun as the Nation’s Gateway to the sub-region faces a challenge with Benin on the oil-rich Tongeji Island, which though located close to Port Novo in the Benin Republic, is actually situated in Ipokia Local Government of Ogun State in Nigeria.
“This administration is determined to make life meaningful for the citizens of the state living within the Island to ensure that the Republic of Benin that shares a boundary with the state does not take advantage of that proximity.
“We are well aware of likely deposits of petroleum reserves on the island and we hereby call on the Federal Government to join hands with us in giving the residents of the island a sense of belonging by providing access road/bridge for them amongst their other needs.”
He added that his administration would continue to employ peaceful resolution in settling boundary disputes.
”For us in Ogun State, we will continue to be committed to peaceful resolutions of boundary matter’s because we know that for development to be sustained, it is critical that our neighbouring states are also thriving. There is no way that the rate of development in our neighbouring states will not affect us one way or the other.
“We recognize that the successful implementation of our “Building our Future Together” Agenda will also be impacted by other states. And, that is why we have continued to collaborate with other states.
”Presently, we are at the advanced stage of establishing the Lagos-Ogun Joint Development Commission.
“The Commission, when it becomes operational, will optimize the shared values of the Nation’s two most industrialised States, with the aim of managing the overflow and diversity of development from Lagos State to Ogun State.
“This is because Lagos State is spilling greatly into Ogun State, and we are determined to turn this push from Lagos into a pull for Ogun State using public-private sector participation,” he added.
The Director-General of the National Boundary Commission, Surveyor Adamu Adaji, in his remarks said the session was intended to serve as a way of sensitising stakeholders on the activities of boundary managers at the three levels of government.
In attendance at the session were deputy governors of Ogun; Oyo; Ekiti and Ondo states Engr [Mrs] Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Engr Rauf Olaniyan; Hon. Bisi Egbeyemi and Hon Lucky Ayedatiwa respectively while the deputy governor of Lagos and Osun States, Mr Femi Hamzat and Benedict Alabi were represented.
We must not allow Benin Republic take advantage of our people on Tongeji Island