By Tarkaa David, Abuja
The Conservator-General, Nigeria National Parks Service (NPS), Dr Ibrahim Goni, has said that parks in the country were not hideouts for criminals.
The CG made the assertion during a virtual meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday.
He described the news report on television and social media that bandits have taken over parts of the Gashaka Gumti National Park in Taraba State as false.
Goni specifically said the news report on bandits taking over parts of the Gashaka Gumti National Park which emanated from the Africa Independent Television (AIT) on April 29 was not true.
AIT, however, attributed the news report to Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku.
Goni stated that Gashaka Gumti National Park or any part thereof, had not been taken over by bandits or any other clandestine group or groups.
Quoting the governor, he said what the governor actually said was, “You can’t go to tourism places when you are not sure of your life, you can’t go when you are afraid of kidnapping.
“You can’t go to any tourist site when the insecurity is alarmingly high.”
Goni noted that the challenge of insecurity was nationwide, and the National Park Service had been working in collaboration with other sister agencies in ensuring safety of all the parks in the country.
“Right now, we have our partners and tourists at our various parks across the country and to the best of our knowledge, no part of the park has been declared a hideout for bandits by security operatives,” he explained.
Goni, therefore, assured the public that the parks were working assiduously with security agents to professionally keep them safe for tourists.
“At the Service, our doors are always open for enquiries and even suggestions that will help us deliver world-class tourist services,” he added.
LEADERSHIP reports that Gashaka Gumti National Park is located in the north-eastern corner of Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, spanning Taraba and Adamawa States.