Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State last weekend in Bauchi has expressed his gratitude to the Wildlife Conservation Society for all the camera trap installations at the Yankari Games Reserve and restated his resolve to make the game reserve a world-class destination before the end of his tenure as the governor.
He said: “We shall continue to document and promote the biodiversity of our state and preserve it for the future”.
In a chat with The Nation, Governor Abubakar said that the state was looking at its culture and tourism laws with a view to getting the state assembly to do the needful by amending the vital aspects of the law to make the games reserve a place to be.
He said: “I am the number one marketer of Yankari. If you follow twitter, you will see that I have been trying my best to sell the Yankari Games Reserve. I follow all the current events in Nigeria, even the winner of the last Big Brother. Immediately he won, I sent him an invitation to come to the reserve free of charge. This is all part of the bid to advertise Yankari.
“But the Yankari Games Reserve is not the only tourist attraction that we have. We have a games park called the Sumu Games Park. Sumu is a novelty in the sense that the animals found there are not found anywhere else in the West African sub-region.
“The reason is that we started Sumu in 2006 with the assistance of Namibia and Kenya. They donated species of animals that are not common to West Africa. Bauchi State went there. We went to the bush, caught the animals and brought them back to Nigeria. The moment they landed in Nigeria, they started breeding. Now if you go to the park which is about 48 kilometres from Bauchi to Kano, you will now see animals like giraffe, zebra, eland and others that are not common to West Africa.
“In addition to all these, we have the tomb of the first and only Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it is a must for any visitor who comes into Bauchi to go there.
“We have various pre-historic rock paintings at Gaji, a small village on the way to Jos from Bauchi, but off the main road and then at Shera, northern part of Bauchi State. That and a series of annual festivals that will be attractive to visitors, especially foreign visitors. So, we are doing our best to improve tourism in the state.”