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“C/River will no longer tolerate ceding of its land to Cameroon” – Gov. Otu



Gov. Bassey Otu

Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River assured on Monday that no part of the state would be ceded to Cameroon any longer.

Otu made the declaration at a public hearing organised by an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives.

The committee is investigating a land tussle between Danare community in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River and Biajua community, split between Cross River and Cameroon.

Following on a 2002 judgment by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Nigeria began the ceding of parts of the Bakassi Peninsula in Cross River to Cameroon in 2006.

The territory was completely ceded to Cameroon on Aug. 14 2008, exactly two years after the first part of it was transferred.


Mr Emmanuel Ironbar, Chief of Staff to Gov. Otu, who represented the governor at the public hearing said the state was still nursing the consequences of the loss of Bakassi and its 76 oil wells to Cameroun.

He said Cross River believed that the issue could be revisited.

He urged the committee to invite relevant stakeholders involved in the loss of the oil-rich peninsula so as to get to the root of the matter.

“I commend the House of Representatives for setting up the ad-hoc committee to investigate the disputed borders in Danare and Biajua communities.

“The visitation of the committee members to the disputed pillars 113 and 114 in Boki communities is a welcome development and will help you to put up painstaking reports.


“Let it be known that Cross River will no longer allow any part of its lands to be ceded to Cameroon in the name of implementing the 2002 judgment of the ICJ,’’ the governor’s representative said.

Addressing stakeholders at the public hearing, Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Hon. Beni Lar, said the House passed a resolution on July 5 to investigate the circumstances leading to the boundary dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon.

He said the essence was to unravel the circumstances leading to the non-traceability and displacement of an important international pillar – 113A in the demarcation of the boundary between Nigeria and the Cameroon.

He maintained that border demarcation pillars along the Biajua and Danare axis of Boki Local Government Area of Cross River went as far as Sina area in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa.

In their submissions, leaders of Danare and Biajua communities led by a former legislator, Mr Cletus Obung, said Federal Government’s attitude over the matter had not been encouraging.


“In spite of pleas to the Nigerian government to make strong statements and ensure that the contentious Pillar 113A is found and restored, its attitude has not been encouraging.

“The Nigerian government has not made a strong statement to intervene in the situation and prevent our communities from being ceded to the republic of Cameroon; this is disappointing,’’ he noted.

After the ceding of the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon in 2008, its indigenes have yet to be properly resettled in Cross River.


Diphtheria: Children at risk as 7,202 cases are confirmed in Nigeria



A staggering 7,202 cases of diphtheria, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can be fatal without treatment, were confirmed in Nigeria last week.

The outbreak has been particularly severe among children under 14, with three-quarters of cases (73.6%) in this age group.

Most cases have been recorded in Kano state, Nigeria’s second most populous state. In the past three months, there have been 453 deaths from diphtheria in Nigeria.

Diphtheria is a vaccine-preventable disease, but low vaccination rates in Nigeria have made the outbreak possible. Only 42% of children under 15 in Nigeria are fully protected from diphtheria.

Diphtheria symptoms begin with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases, the bacteria produce a toxin that can block the airway, causing difficulty breathing and swallowing. The toxin can also spread to other body parts, causing heart kidney problems and nerve damage.


Save the Children is launching a wide-scale health response in the three most impacted states of Kano, Yobe, and Katsina. The organization is deploying expert health and supply chain staff to help overstretched clinics detect and treat diphtheria cases and to support mass vaccination campaigns.

However, Save the Children warns that a mass vaccination campaign will only be successful if the vaccine shortage is urgently addressed.

Severe shortages in Nigeria of the required vaccine and the antitoxin needed to treat the disease mean that the situation could continue to escalate, placing many children at risk of severe illness and death.

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WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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