This is not a rant I promise you, after all what has ranting ever changed in this great country we call Nigeria? It is a cry, a deep heartbroken cry for the preservation and development of our tourist locations. Nigeria as a country is undoubtedly blessed with an abundance of possible tourist’s locations. We have at least one location for whatever kind of tourist activity that may be your fancy but sadly, we continue to have an under developed tourism sector.
You don’t need to be too smart to figure out why this is so, No! All you need is take a good look at our government’s attitude to tourism and the body language reads loud and clear, BLEH! For lack of a better word is what you get and this attitude is same for both states and the federal government who continue to pay lip service to tourism and the potentials it holds for Nigeria. If you don’t believe me, let us examine closely the case of Shere Hills in Jos, plateau state.
Shere Hills is the highest point of the Jos plateau and it is the third highest point in Nigeria after Chappal Waddi on the Mambilla Plateau. The hills are a range of undulating hills and rock formations situated about 10 kilometers to the East of Jos metropolis, the capital of Plateau State. The interesting poise which the boulders assume as they stand balanced on one another, constitutes the main attraction by which the Hills have held her visitors continually spell-bound, for decades since they had been discovered and opened up to the public.
Shere Hills has numerous high peaks, with the highest peak reaching a height of about 1,829 meters or 6,001 feet above sea level. This peak known as Gog and Maggog have constituted great challenges to visitors who enjoy rock climbing. Lovers of adventure and camping throng to the hills regularly as the altitude and rustic nature appeals to them. The hills also offer one the chance to view the picturesque city of Jos in all its glory. The hills also have a place in history as it hosted the First All African Scouts Jamboree in 1976.
So what does the Plateau State Government do to preserve and develop this awesome tourist location? It assembles Giant caterpillars and other heavy duty earth moving vehicles, including tons of dynamites to reduce it to rubble and it is to become a quarry for chippings and gravel.
So very soon, in the not so distant future, Shere Hills will no longer be and in its place would be the memories and opportunities lost.