Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa says his administration is committed to the development and restoration of the Sukur cultural landscape in the state.
Fintiri said this in Abuja on Tuesday night at a Stakeholders Awareness Support Dinner organised by the Joint National Committee of UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers Initiative.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Malam Bashir Ahmad, expressed his administration’s readiness to partner with UNESCO and others to put Sukur on the global map.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UNESCO has declared the Sukur cultural landscape as a historic site due to its unique art of dry stone architecture and stone terrace farming.
NAN also reports that the heritage site had suffered grave damage as a result of insurgency in 2014.
Fintiri, however, said the Sukur landscape and other cultural sites would be given the necessary attention in other to generate revenue.
” Sukur site and other cultural sites should be publicised and turned to serve as source of revenue not only to the indigenes but to the state and the nation at large.
“It is at this point I commend those who have kept Sukur landscape and cultural heritage alive for the past six centuries.
“As a government, we will do all that is necessary to support all those who are on this cause of rediscovering Sukur landscape and cultural heritage,” he said.
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, stressed the need to create awareness on the imperative of restoring the Sukur landscape and cultural heritage in the bid to boost tourism development in the country.
Dogara, who said tourism could be used to diversify the nation’s economy, stressed the need for partnership among relevant stakeholders to develop and restore the Sukur site.
Prof. Abba Tijani, the Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, canvassed the need to improve on the conservation of the Sukur heritage property.
Tijani, who was represented by the Director, Monuments, Heritage and Sites in the Commission, Mrs Victoria Osuagwu, described Sukur as a living site.
He called on stakeholders to improve the living conditions of the people in the area while supporting and contributing to the development and sustenance of the heritage property.
Mr Olagunju Idowu, the Secretary General, Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO, stressed the need to tackle the challenge of the dramatically altered rich cultural heritage of Sukur landscape.
Idowu, who was represented by Mrs Roseline Kurah, Assistant Director and Head of Culture Sector in the commission, said that the recovering and rebuilding of the heritage site were imperative for the nation and the global community.
“The Federal Government and Adamawa State Government as well as stakeholders will need to watch over the Sukur cultural landscape and other heritage sites.
“The loss of any of its components is a loss to all of humanity,” he said.
Mrs Malame Mangzha, the Director-General, African International Documentary Festival Foundation, said that the purpose of the dinner was to raise awareness about the site.
Mangzha added that the dinner was also to garner support for the much needed intervention to bring development to the site.
NAN reports that the dinner was attended members of the diplomatic community, implementing partners as well as heads of government agencies, including the Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Mr Mufutau Ojo.