- Greg Betiang
Public outcry on social media and beyond is presently trailing the level of poor infrastructure at the famous Calabar, Cross River State tourist spot, the Marina Resort, www.calitown.com investigations can reveal.
The outcry is not unconnected with a www.calitown.com reporter’s pictures of the Resort, published on the Facebook page of Iwara U. Iwara, Publisher of www.calitown.com. Published with the rider, “Welcome to the Calabar Marina Resort … what invitation do you need again”, the six pictures specifically showed fast decaying huts, prefabricated buildings and a grass invaded Tortuga Island, the once exotic and exquisitely built sit out by the river.
Bassey Mabus Agube, lamented thus; “who do we hold responsible or accountable for the decay of our tourist destinations?” while Lawrence Bassey believes what has befallen the place is a clear case of “one step forward five steps backward.” His sentiment is shared by Wilson Bassey who bemoaned the “annoying level of abandonment.” Ofem Arikpo’s rhetorical comment, “what has CRS really turned into under Ayade? Is it that everything he touches goes bad?” also thinks “we should all be pointing our blame fingers to those who brought him (Ayade) instead.
However, in disbelief, Tony Anammah wrote, “…tell me that this is not true!!!! Chai! What has happened to my Cross River State?, just like “… don’t tell me it has gotten this bad” was Mabong Bassey’s reaction to the pictures. Obviously short of words for what they saw in the pictures, HIT 95.9 FM Calabar On Air Personality, OAP, Quinesta Nemine Ekom just exclaimed “Chai…” the same way .threw up one word, “Savage.” At press time, the Facebook post was still being commented on, attracting too, a flurry of pain, anger, disbelief and crying emojis.
Meanwhile, insider government sources informed www.calitown.com early this morning that the Resort has not been funded by government for close to three years. We also gathered that most of what may have been generated from the Resort and paid into government coffers may have developed wings over time. While the government source declined to avail us with any figure, we were told at the CRS Accountant-General’s Office that, “the money plenty wey dem chop” (the money they ate is much), by a junior level member of staff in the office. We also discovered that the Resort, like several other tourist sites in the state are presently in a bad state.
Built by the Donald Duke administration to promote tourism in the state, the Marina Resort was commissioned and opened to the public on May 26, 2007. It is a notable entertainment and recreational facility located on the site of a fifteenth- century slave-trading warehouse in Marina Beach, Calabar.
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