FG to rebuild heritage site destroyed by Boko Haram

National Commission for Museum and Monuments (NCMM) is exploring ways to rebuild the Sukur world heritage site in Adamawa destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014. Th e Director-General of the Commission, Yusuf Usman, disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. Usman said eff orts were also on to address conservation challenges at Osun-Osogbo Grove in Osun state. “Provisions have been made in the 2017 budget to address the conservation challenges of the Sukur site and Osun-Oshogbo sacred grove. Th ese are both national monuments. Secondly, UNESCO has also made provisions for assistance to Nigeria to address these challenges.

“So, in the coming weeks, you will see lot of activities around Sukur Cultural Landscape to address those conservation challenges following the attack of Boko Haram insurgents,” he said. Th e NCMM boss added that the target was to restore the conservation status of the sites, ensure they attained cresting stage and become well-maintained enough to attract tourists. Th e director-general said he expected other agencies to popularise the Sukur site to attract tourists from across the world. “Our major concern is maintaining the conservation status of the sites and that is what we want to address. “We also have plans for tourism development and tourists in case of disaster and so on at the sites,” he said.

NAN reports that Sukur is a stone-age iron smelting community whose history dated back to the Dur Dynasty in the 17th century. Th e Dur had established a major supply link for raw materials needed for iron manufacture to the North-east which continued into the fi rst decade of the 20th century. UNESCO had designated it a World Heritage Site because of its cultural heritage, material culture and the naturally-terraced fi elds. Sukur is the fi rst African cultural landscape to receive heritage list inscription in 1999 at the 23rd Session of UNESCO. NAN also reports that the landscape is located on the hill above the village of Sukur in Madagali local government area of Adamawa state. It is situated on the Mandara Mountains close to the border with Cameroon.

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