Politics

Prince Abiodun: I won’t allow Benin Republic take over Tongeji Island

Ogun state governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has tweeted his real official portrait, as against the image that is being circulated by street traders in Abeokuta, the capital.

Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, has said that his administration would not allow the Tongeji Island, an island that exists close to Nigeria’s boundary with the Republic of Benin, to be taken away by the neighbouring country.

The governor said his administration would do all within its power to make life meaningful for the citizens of the state living within the Island.

Abiodun stated this while receiving the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Ambassador Emmanuel Kayode Oguntuase and the Flag Officer Commanding Western Region (FOC), Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, in his office.

He stressed that the Island, which had been on his administration’s radar because of its huge deposit of petroleum resources, was of huge interest to his administration.

Abiodun said the visit of the Ambassador would only make his administration to act even quicker and ensure that the Republic of Benin that shared boundary with the state, did not take advantage of the Island located in the Ipokia Local Government area of the state.

He added that his administration would immediately set up a team to visit the Island on a fact finding mission and see what could be done to assure the people of the area that they had not been forgotten.

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Abiodun further disclosed that his administration had informed the Federal Ministry of Petroleum that the Island was of huge interest to the state government, adding that his administration had also began discussions with investors on the way forward.

He said: “It is a place where we do have valuable reserve and I had mentioned to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum that the Tongeji Island and Ogun Waterside are areas of interest to the state government and we have began discussions with others to explore partnership agreements under a Public Private Partnership to see what we can do in terms of prospecting the opportunities that lay beneath the soil in Tongeji Island and Ogun Waterside.”

He added that his administration would fast-track the process to see other services that could be rendered to the people of the area, promising that he would take the issue up with the National Borders Commission.

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The governor also said he would engage the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission (DAWN) and involve Lagos and Oyo states’ governors that also shared border towns with the Republic of Benin.

Abiodun, while thanking the Flag Officer Commanding the Western Region, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, for ensuring that the water ways were free and devoid of anarchy, urged the FOC not to hesitate to bring to his notice issues germane to security of the region.

Amb. Emmanuel Kayode Oguntuase, the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, in his remark, disclosed that his visit to the state governor was to intimate him on happenings in the area as the closet to the Island.

He added that it was important to let the over 1,000 inhabitants of the Island to feel government’s presence, as the Republic of Benin had been trying hard to lure the people to take over the Island because of the huge petroleum resources embedded in the ground.

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