Dr Raphael James, Curator, Centre for Research Information Management and Media Development (CRIMMD) Lagos, on Friday urged the Oyo State Government to preserve late Bishop Ajayi Crowther’s abode in the state for historic purposes.
James made the call during the 5th Naija Seven Wonder Webinar session with the theme: “Places to Visit in Nigeria: Issue of Access and Security’’, organised by Mr Ikechi Uko, Organiser, AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market.
James said it was so disheartening to know that the place the late Crowther was given birth to in Oyo State remained abandoned and unheard off as he had contributed to the advancement of Christian religion in Nigeria.
He noted that the tree on which Crowther was captured and tied by the slave masters before being enslaved at age 12 with 15 others in his compound, remained a historical spot.
According to him, late Crowther should be further immortalised in his place of origin as he remained relevant considering slave trade history and Bible translation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther was born in 1806 in Osogun in Oyo State.
He was a Yoruba linguist and the first African Anglican Bishop in Nigeria who translated the Bible to Yoruba language.
His role in producing the Yoruba Bible set new standards for later African translations.
“It is unfortunate that the Oyo State Government have left late Ajayi Crowther’s birth place unattended to, I have written several proposals to Oyo State Government that the place be turned to a tourism site but got no response.
“If this were to be in other foreign countries, it would have been another Jerusalem where people from across the globe will be visiting,” he said.
The curator said that “Igbo Olodumare” located in Ondo State was a unique and mysterious tourism site the nation was endowed with that had suffered neglect over the years.
He urged Nigerians to visit the CRIMMD Centre known as Nigeria’s richest historic museum with over 40,000 historic pictures, Nigeria’s currency dating back to 1926, over 600 Nigerian stamps and collection of old Nigerian music in different formats.
“The CRIMMD museum is open to all; we usually have children coming in for excursion. We have the first editions of most Nigerian newspapers and magazines.
“I encourage Nigerians to explore most of the tourism sites in the country, I have visited over 33 states and 300 tourism sites in Nigeria; no other country is as endowed as Nigeria,” he said.
Bolaji Seun, Chief Executive Officer of Naija Explorer, who had visited tourism sites within 32 states of the federation said that Nigeria was blessed with over 50 waterfalls, while Mambila Plateau in Taraba state had 20 waterfalls.
He said the waterfalls were great tourism assets capable of attracting tourists into the nation but the road network to most of the waterfalls were in a deplorable state.
He urged the Federal Government to pay more attention to tourism while the local communities developed their tourism assets.
Also, Mrs Peace Iyare, Managing Director, Peaceful Sky Travels, suggested the National Museum of Colonial History in Aba, Abia for tourists who love history.
Iyare said the museum showcased in chronological order events dating back centuries.
She urged tourists to visit some fascinating tourism sites in the Eastern part of the country, in likes of: Amakama Wooden Cave in Abia, Golden Sand Beach in Ebonyi and Akwete Fabric in Abia.
By TAIYE BAIYEROHI