Tourism as a Rallying Point for Peace

The nation is again griped by sorrow as news of fresh killings in Benue State. The nation has been engulfed in violence and is hard to contend with incessant killings almost on daily basis since the outbreak of herdsmen-farmers clashes. It is quite unfortunate that despite efforts to stop the menace, the violent trend has continued to ravage the people and the beautiful land of Nigeria.

Incidentally, some of the state that were affected by the herdsmen – farmers clashes are Plateau and Benue State, used to be the tourist site and the pride of the nation. Plateau as a matter of fact was carved out from the old Benue-Plateau in 1976. The state surrounded by fascinating hills and wildlife safari parks is described as the home of peace and tourism.

Shere hill at Jos, Plateau State - SDG NIGERIA
Shere Hill at Jos, Plateau State
Jos Wildlife Park - SDG NIGERIA
Jos Wildlife Park

Moreover, the African drums festival was celebrated at Abeokuta, Ogun State. It attracted people of diverse cultures and religions within and outside the country. It provided a meeting point for Nigerians to appreciate the nation’s cultural heritage and put behind those nasty factors that divide us. Apart from promoting the cultural heritage, the drum festival also succeeded in raking-in some cool revenue for Ogun State.

African Drums Festival at Abeokuta in Ogun State - SDG NIGERIA
2018 African Drum Festival at Abeokuta

Likewise, the Lagos State Government has been showcasing it’s heritage with the hosting of several festivals.

Ẹyọ Festival in Lagos - SDG NIGERIA
Eyo Festival in Lagos

Similarly, the east african countries and south african region’s countless tourism sites have the potentials to awake love, peace and unity in the continent. It might also interest you to know that in next ten years tourism has been projected to rake-in ten trillion dollars revenue globally. In the same vein, the sector should account for three hundred and twenty eight million jobs.

Tsavo National Park in Kenya, East Africa - SDG NIGERIA
Tsavo National Park in Kenya, East Africa

Excogitates:

  • How the nation can explore the beauty of the land, numerous natural endowments and tourist sites to promote peace and unity in the land?
  • In the midst of hardships created by violence can the beauty of the land still rise and explore to bring their children together in love?

CHANNELS IN EXPLORING THE BEAUTY OF THE LAND TO PROMOTE PEACE AND UNITY

  • Strong Political Good-Will:
The Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Dayo Adeneye, let this out on raypower’s current affairs programme, FACT-FILE, emphasizing more on the socioeconomic impact of tourism.
Chief Dayo Adeneye spotted at the drums festival at Abeokuta, Ogun State - SDG NIGERIA
R: Chief Dayo Adeneye spotted at the drums festival at Abeokuta, Ogun State

He said, “Eventhough nobody wants to go anywhere there is no peace, we must not continue to look at all the negatives; we must be forward thinking and forward looking.

“Dubai is a desert, nothing grows there, nothing to look at there but it’s people have forward thinking. They believed, “if we build this, tourists will come.”

“The last drum festival at Abeokuta  in Ogun State, was a great example. While looking at the economic impact, our hotel were booked, shopping was done, interaction with the host involving exchange of culture and languages. Thus, the tourists took better image of Nigeria back to their destinations.”

Tourist at the drums festival at Abeokuta, Ogun State - SDG NIGERIA
A tourist at the drums festival

Also speaking on the program is the Plateau State’s Commissioner for information and Strategy, Honorable Yakubu Dati, stressed that the Plateau State Government launched the strategic road map for peace.

Plateau State's Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yakubu Dating - SDG NIGERIA
Plateau State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Honorable Yakubu Dati

He said, “That is a strategic document containing steps to derive peace systematically. The Plateau State Government has introduced the Jos Carnival, first of its kind in the north. We are moving towards the second edition and also in partnership with Calabar carnival to be able to gradually learn from their success and grow the tourism industry in Jos.

Jos Carnival 2017- SDG NIGERIA
Jos Carnival 2017

“Tourism takes people off the street. Because, when a tourist center is developed it creates employment and business opportunities involving whole lot of economic activities.” He added.

  • Reliable Media Publicity: 

The Ogun State commissioner also provides said, protection of lives and properties are very important but we must not continue to focus on what is wrong. We should continue to propagate what is positive about Nigeria.

“If you don’t sell your country, nobody sells it for you.”

  • Effective Basic Infrastructure: 
Tourist should have access to effective medical services, shopping malls, good accommodations, etc.
  • Improved Security Network: 
We can not ignore the fact that security would always be a setback to tourism. We need to support the security agencies. The Plateau State’s Commissioner for Information confirmed that the Plateau State Government distributed about fifty vehicles to security agencies.
He said, “That is in addition to the logistics in order to empower the security agencies to protect lives and properties.
“We are also mobilizing communities; several meetings are being held through the peace building agencies to recruit communities to see themselves as an extension of the security officers. That is why people made Plateau State as a tourism destination.”
“It is the only state you can enjoy a night without air condition likewise fan. It’s natural temperature welcomes a lot. We have several place for you to see such as Pandam game reserve and lake, wildlife safari park, the museum of traditional Nigerian architecture, fascinating hills, Jos zoological garden etc.” He concluded.
Thanks to the Ogun State Commissioner and Strategy, Chief Dayo Adeneye and Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Honorable Yakubu Dati.
Credit: Produced by Yéwándé Iwoha @RaypowerNetwork 

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