Friday, 26 April 2019

Donald Duke to head C'River Tourism sector - Romanus

It is no longer news that Cross River state is gradually losing its position as the centre of tourism in Nigeria nay Africa. And this has been a major cause of concern to both citizens and friends of the state. 

Only recently there was a wide agitation on social media by some concern citizens calling on the government of the day to revamp the tourism sector, lamenting the death of several tourism hot spots such as Marina resort, Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort, Tinapa, Afi mountain wildlife sanctuary, etc.

In a swift response to some of the issues raised, the commissioner of Culture and Tourism Development in Cross River state, Mr Eric Anderson addressed a section of the press where he rolled out government plans and efforts to revamp the sector explaining why things are the way they are. Though he was quick to add that what the state is currently experiencing is a deterioration that started even before the present administration came on board and there are several legal battles the state is going through with contractors and managers of facilities in a bid to revamp the sector. 

Eric who was full of optimism assured citizens that in less than no time the tide will change. But it's been months now and this administration is coming to an end yet things seem to be the same with little or no progress done.

 To this end, a concern citizen and friend of the government, Richard Romanus, has recommended that the government hands over the tourism sector to former governor of Cross River state and presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the just concluded 2019 presidential election, Mr. Donald Duke.

Romanus argued that it is only the vision bearer that can expressly revamp the tourism vision in the state. He was frank to state that Donald Duke was and still remains the father and originator of tourism in the state.

Romanus who made his thoughts public via a post on his social media handle lamented the sorry state of tourism sites in the state with major emphasis on the Obudu Ranch Resort. He said the spot that was once a haven, Marvel and a Camp David to many great personalities including past presidents of nations have been allowed to deteriorate to a site of pity and sorrow, infested with rodents and overgrown grasses and perhaps a den for thieves. 

However, he suggested that a meeting between governor Ben Ayade, the present governor of the state and former governor Donald Duke could breed something meaningful for the sector as a board could be set up to manage the sector while the Ex-governor is made to chair the board or recommend a trusted hand.

According to the Obubra born politician, a one minute advert on an international media platform using Duke's face is a killer magic needed to raise funds from investors for the sector.


Richards Romanus Social media post reads in full: 

I woke up this morning, thinking about the current state of Obudu Cattle Ranch. How such a major tourist attraction that brought people from within and outside the Country can be allowed to die beats my imagination.

How a place Late President Umaru Musa Yaradua once described as 'Camp David' can be allowed to die pains me.

For a place, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan visibly marvel at to be allowed to deteriorate the extent it is, should worry all of us.

For Nigeria's once favourite Retreat and holiday spot to be abandoned in its current condition for years now is abnormal.

But I thought about this;

The Obudu Cattle Ranch was somebody's vision and idea. Only he knows what he wanted to do with that place. Only he knows what he wanted to see come out of that place. Only he knows how he wanted the place to function. He was and still is, the vision bearer. His name is Donald Duke.

Is it not possible for the present and former governor to spend a weekend together majorly to discuss the revamping of that place?

I think that one of the best things that will happen to the ranch is to hand it over to its vision bearer to either run it under what may be called 'Obudu Cattle Ranch Management Board' where Mr Duke would serve as the board's Chairman or we get him to recommend somebody for us who share his same vision.

No matter what anybody thinks about Duke, he is a brand name so long as Tourism is a concern in Nigeria and Africa. One minute advertisement on Channels TV and CNN of Donald Duke calling on investors to invest in Obudu Cattle Ranch are sure can do the magic.

Obudu Ranch Resort must not be allowed to die.

Richard Romanus.