Published July 14, 2014 | By Patricia Taft*
The coastal state of Cross River in the southeastern part of Nigeria is home to approximately 2.9 million people (2006 census), predominantly of Efik, Ejagham and Bekwarra background. One of the fastest growing states in Nigeria, Cross River is endowed with vast mineral resources, plentiful arable land, and a growing number of tourist attractions. Liyel Imoke of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was elected governor of Cross River in August 2008 after his first electoral victory of April 2007 was annulled by an Election Appeal Tribunal. He was re-elected in February 2012. For years, Cross River was the stage to a heated territorial dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon over the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula.