ABIKE Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said that the commission would collaborate with Anambra to promote tourism in the country.
The Chairman stated this on Wednesday in Abuja when she received Dr Christian Madubuko, Anambra Commissioner for Diaspora Tourism and Culture Commission, in Abuja.
She said that a strategy would be devised to develop the untapped masterpiece of the Ogbunike Caves, located in a valley blanketed by tropical rain forest in order to attract tourists to the site.
“We are glad to receive you and also I congratulate you on your appointment and Anambra State has made history for being the first state to have a commissioner of Diaspora, and you have done so much for your Diaspora.
“ I know that you have some activities lined up, so am hoping this year that COVID-19 will not stop those activities.
“Ogbunike Caves is a world class masterpiece but we have not tap into it enough , so we will work with you to bring tourist to Nigeria, we have what we called the `Door of Return’ in Badagry.
“This is where our ancestors that were taken away as slaves 400 years ago went through, so we take the tourists round the symbolic door where our ancestors were taken as slaves.
“ So those who come to Nigeria we receive them as kings and queens , and beyond that we take a state that we visit with them and we are hoping that Anambra will be the next state when they do come in so that they see the best of Nigeria,’’ she said.
She added that with the COVID-19 pandemic it was imperative to develop Nigerian’s tourism and the Diaspora would play a significant role in this.
Speaking earlier, Madubuko said he hoped to work closely with the NiDCOM in order to accelerate the development of the tourism sector in the state.
“In Anambra we have a lot to offer in the tourism sector, couple of days ago I was with the presidential team that visited the state and we visited two caves and a water fall, which is very significant and needed to be developed.
“The state was ready to partner with the Diaspora to develop these areas in order to promote our historical sites,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogbunike Caves is located in a valley blanketed by tropical rain, the collection of caves has been in use over centuries by local people for whom it has particular spiritual significance.
This spiritual significance is still apparent, as the “Ime Ogba” celebration is undertaken every year to commemorate the discovery of the caves.
Descending into the valley where the caves are located is a lengthy walkway made up of about 317 steps said to have been constructed by the Anambra State Government in the mid 90s.
Visitors must remove their shoes before entering the caves, as per tradition and women who are having their monthly cycle cannot go in.
– July 01, 2020 @ 18:55 GMT