Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has reiterated Nigeria’s unequivocal ownership of Tongeji Island, putting to rest any lingering doubts about its sovereignty.
Abiodun made this assertion during a courtesy visit from Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, at his office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The Governor stated that Tongeji Island and its residents are an integral part of Ogun State and have no affiliation with any other country.
He revealed that the President of Benin Republic has also acknowledged the island’s status as Nigerian territory, emphasizing that there is no contestation of ownership.
The Governor expressed his commitment to providing essential services to the people of Tongeji Island, acknowledging that the area requires improved infrastructure, such as a jetty, power supply, water access, and a primary healthcare center.
He affirmed that his administration would take immediate action to address these needs.
Furthermore, Governor Abiodun emphasized the significance of naval presence in the region, particularly in Ogun Waterside, which is the proposed location for the State’s seaport.
He cited past security challenges involving incursions from the Niger Delta and criminal activities in the area, stressing the importance of ensuring the safety and security of the local population.
Governor Abiodun also announced plans for the Ogun State Port in the Olokola area, highlighting the project’s close collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and the essential role they will play in securing the territorial waters.
Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, commended Ogun State’s business-friendly environment and emphasized the potential for Tongeji Island to become an oil-producing region.
He mentioned that the Nigerian Navy has already extended its operations to the island to safeguard lives and protect Nigeria’s territorial integrity and assets.
Admiral Hassan appealed to the Governor to provide jetties for smoother naval operations on the island and suggested offering the inhabitants essential amenities, such as healthcare, water supply, and electricity.
He also proposed the development of Tongeji Island into a tourism center due to its significant potential.
The declaration by Governor Abiodun and the commitment to improving services and security in Tongeji Island reaffirm Nigeria’s sovereignty over the region, and signal a new era of development and prosperity for its residents.
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