By Obaji Akpet, [Calabar]
Professor Asira Asira, a peace and conflict resolution expert has said that terrorism in Nigeria has had a lot of untold effect in the Nigerian tourism sector, even though the extent cannot be clearly measured.
Prof. Asira, who also lectures in the University of Calabar was among those consulted in the wake of the establishment of Niger Delta Commission [NDDC] and continues to advocate for peace education in Nigeria.
During a two day capacity building programme on infrastructure for peace [I4P] held at Green Valley hotel, Calabar recently, as organized by Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution [IPCR].
Asira posited that, “It affects tourism; it affects any arm of the society.
“If a place is being terrorized, you wouldn’t be desirous to go anywhere. As soon as I hear any information that that place is not safe security wise, I wouldn’t go.
“So infrastructure for peace and conflict resolution calls even the tourist and the organizers of tourism enterprise to come together, work together.
“How can we maintain peace so that people can tour our sites?”
Asira added that even though very little is known about the grave lost Nigeria has incurred from the spates of terror the country suffers, the country’s potentials have continued to deplete.
“Even now, no records, no complete records to tell us how much we have lost both financially and otherwise.”
“Our people have died, the fund through the oil has declined, that’s why you see even electricity; the megawatt has declined, everything.
“So we all need to work together.
“Even the man we call the common on the street needs to be informed; because sometimes they wear those kind of people bomb everywhere, they indoctrinate them”.
For government to check terrorism for peace to better tourism posture, Asira insisted that government should involve experts to find out the actual reason for current agitations in order to halt the current mayhem being meted on society terrorists.
Siting Boko haram, the prof. said: “You see that Boko haram problem, there’s a very big reason in which they are fighting; the government needs to know what exactly the matter is.
“Perhaps, it has religious undertone, political undertone; they should find out. An expert should find out, not any kind of persons.
On his part, the Director-general of IPCR, Prof. Oshita Oshita told African Travel Times that his organization was doing all in its power to help regain Nigeria’s lost glory in the tourism enterprise.
This, Oshita said his institute was doing by “trying to identify critical stakeholders in peace building, something which we have often neglected in our environment; but also to build their capacities to do the good work that they are doing even more than they are able to do now.”
Adding, he said that “The reason being that we have found out that in most part of our country, we have taken peace for granted so we do not work positively to bring peace rather we wait to contain violence or to deal with the consequences of violence.
“Clearly, everyone who travels for leisure is concerned about his or her security and that’s why we are doing our best to see that Nigeria continues to attract tourists; and the effort we are making here, part of what we want to say is that Nigeria remains the destination for tourists.”
He further stated that if the dream of economic diversification must work, all hands certainly must continue to be on deck to restore Nigeria to its former place.