By Ikuru Lizzy
Mr Erastus Awortu, Chairman, Andoni local government area in Rivers said his administration was liaising with local and international conservationists to make the area a tourism destination.
Awortu stated this at Asarama Community in Andoni during the maiden edition of the Andoni Unity Carnival, featuring a Boat regatta, organized by the area council.
According to him, the event is initiated to foster development and consolidate on the peace process of his administration.
“My administration will continue to ensure that our forest and sea lives are preserved seeing that we have an uncommon topography where the rain forest is bordered by such an aesthetic large stretch of sprawling and advantageous sand beach,” he said.
Expressing satisfaction on turnout during the boat regatta, Awortu noted that the display of passion by the people showed a total acceptance of peace and desire for development.
“This is one event the council has attached so much importance, we are happy it’s successful in terms of attendance and display of our latent culture.
“I call it latent because in as much as we understand our rich cultural heritage and natural endowments, the world is yet to know about them and we are happy to showcase them to the world,” he said.
On the overall motive for the carnival, the Chairman said that the exercise was expected to attract investors to the area, create employment for the youths as well as promote peace and development.
“The scenic environment is quite obvious, the winding creeks, the large stretch of sand beaches, forest, ocean reserves, human capacity and rich natural vegetation are of course a tourist delight and an investors heaven.
“Our rain forest harbours some of the rare wild animals like elephants, wild cats, hippos and even the dolphins which are a lovely sight to behold around the Atlantic beach.
“The world is evolving and Andoni is not an exception, we know we are endowed with rich oil and gas resources which are currently being tapped by the oil industries.
“No doubt, oil exploration activities have proven to have grievous effects on the environment and the people a more reason we should make tourism the biggest economic catch point for Andoni local government area,” he added.
Similarly, Mr Dagomie Abiante, lawmaker representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro federal constituency, also commended Awortu on his achievements especially in the area of peace and security and overall rural infrastructural development.
“Not too long ago, I made a promise to work with you as you pilot development in Andoni because I recall, a few years back at festive moments such as this, travelling to my hometown Ngo, the Council’s headquarters was usually an expensive venture with fully cladded police escort!
“What a shame, I belong here and should freely coexist with my people, it is in doing so that I can feel their pulse, appreciate who we are and understand our genuine pains to enable me effectively table them before relevant authorities,” the lawmaker said.
The occasion was also graced by Iraron Obolo, Paramount ruler of Egwede Community and other traditional rulers, Obolo entertainment group, politicians.
It also featured boat regatta/display by the 11 wards of the area council. (NAN)