The beauty of Cross River State can’t be complete without the much talked about Obudu Mountain Resort formerly known as Obudu Cattle Ranch is a tourist attraction in the state. The resort is a home to so many tourists around the globe regardless of their skin, political or educational background.
Filled with mountain ranges, water falls and wild life, The resort is located on the Obudu plateaus at 1576 metres above sea level on the Oshie Ridge of the Sankwala Mountains in the north-east region of Cross River state and is close to the Cameroon border. The temperate climate offers a total contrast and welcome respite from Africa’s tropical heat. Idyllic tranquility, beautiful scenery and breath taking views make it ideal for the lone adventurer, families on reunion, young couples or a holiday group.
Developed by Mr Mccaughley in 1951 and although the resort has been through troubles since, it has very recently been rehabilitated to its former glory. A recently added cable car from the base to the top of the plateau gives visitors a scenic view while bypassing the extremely winding road to the top. This has turned the ranch into one of the well known holiday and tourist resorts in Nigeria.
However, the once glorified tourist center is gradually been neglected and has become a home for all sorts of species with little or no attraction. The resort which serve as an added revenue to the state government, seem to have contributed much to the economy growth of the state as a result of government’s negligence. This is far cry from what Obudu Resort center was once all about.
This however, made Richard Romanus is a strong social commentator and Ayade aide, to call for a state of emergency of the resort center in order to revive the place.
He complained bitterly on the ‘sorry’ state of the Resort center and urged the governor Ben Ayade-led administration to show more attention on the tourist center so as to give it a new face-lift.
In his words; “: I woke up this morning, thinking about the current state of Obudu cattle Ranch. How such a major tourist attraction that brought people from within and outside the Country can be allowed to die beats my imagination. How a place Late President Umaru Musa Yaradua once described as ‘Camp David’ can be allow to die pains me.
“For a place former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan visibly marvel at to be allowed to deteriorate the extend it is, should worry all of us.For Nigeria’s once favourite Retreat and holiday spot to be abandoned in its current condition for years now is abnormal.
“But I thought about this;The Obudu cattle Ranch was somebody’s vision and idea. Only him knows what he wanted to do with that place. Only him know what he wanted to see come out of that place. Only him know how he wanted the place to function. He was and still is, the vision bearer. His name is Donald Duke.
“Is it not possible for the present and former governor to spend a weekend together majorly to discuss the revamping of that place? I think that one of the best things that will happen to the ranch is to hand it over to its vision bearer to either run it under what may be called ‘Obudu Cattle Ranch Management Board’ where Mr Duke would serve as the board’s Chairman or we get him to recommend somebody for us who share his same vision.
“No matter what anybody thinks about Duke, he is a brand name so long as Tourism is concern in Nigeria and Africa. One minute advertisement on Channels TV and CNN of Donald Duke calling on investors to invest in Obudu Cattle Ranch am sure can do the magic. Obudu Ranch Resort must not be allowed to die.
While a state like Lagos is intensifying efforts to develop its tourism infrastructure, Cross River State not only fails to build any, it is neglecting to maintain existing ones to drive tourism.
Calabar Carnival is the only active festival, which some allege is a conduit pipe for siphoning money and the promotion of sex tourism.
Also, the carnival is believed to gulp a lot of money, which some say is wasted on needless trips abroad to import costumes for the carnival in the name of cultural exchange.
By and large, there is need for Governor Ayade to look deeply into the Obudu Resort Centre and refurbish it so as to attract more tourists and serve as a centre point for summer holidays.