Ugwuanyi said this on Wednesday during his visit to Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
He also said that government would take strategic steps to harness the tourism potential hidden in the remote recesses of the forests.
He said that it was not true that his administration had plans to destroy the caves and other tourism artefacts in a forest located in Awgu council area on the grounds that they served as hideouts and havens for kidnappers and armed bandits.
According to him, no one ever contemplated destroying the caves and other tourism relics in the area.
He said that government merely took an action that was intended to scare the hoodlums out of their hideouts in the forest, following a disturbing security report at his disposal.
He said that government’s plan was to clear and open up all the forests in order to make them impossible for hoodlums to carry out their nefarious activities there.
Ugwuanyi said that his administration would stop at nothing to make the state unattractive to criminals.
He expressed his commitment to ensure that the reputation of the state as one of the safest in the country remained untannished.
He further opined that opening up the forest would have positive impact on the agricultural sector, especially to enable farmers to easily access and utilise the land for agriculture.
He reassured the people of the area of the commitment of his administration to ensure even development of the entire state.
“I have no doubt that our tourism sector will benefit immensely from the caves and other tourism and cultural assets that government activities in the forest will unravel,” Ugwuanyi said.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
Ugwuanyi disclosed this on Wednesday during a visit to the area.
The media have been awash of statements credited to the governor that the caves would be demolished as they had become hideouts and haven for criminals.
However, the governor said that no one had ever contemplated destroying the caves and other tourism relics in the area.
He said his administration had to take an initial action that would scare the hoodlums out of their hideouts in the forest following a disturbing security report at his disposal.
The governor said the whole forest would be cleared and opened up with a view to making it impossible for the hoodlums to carry out their nefarious acts there.
Ugwuanyi said that his administration would stop at nothing to make the state unattractive to criminals, adding that the reputation of the state as one of the safest in the country must be intact.
He said that opening up the forest would impact positively on the agricultural sector by making it easier for farmers to use the land for agricultural purposes.
The governor also said such clearance would avail the government the opportunity to harness and develop the tourism potentials hidden in the recesses of the forests.
He reassured the people of the area of his commitment to ensure even development of the entire state.
“I have no doubt that our tourism sector will benefit immensely from the caves and other tourism and cultural assets that government activities in the forest will unravel”, Ugwuanyi said.
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