By Zainab Oyekan
Plateau held a marathon in Jos on Wednesday to commemorate this year’s International Wildlife Day.
Eighty-four athletes participated at the marathon which the Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, Tamwakat Weli, described as great and historic.
The theme of the Day for 2021 is: “Forest and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet’’.
Weli said the theme was apt as it encompassed attempts to conserve the environment for a balanced ecosystem.
“Plateau is blessed with the Jos Wildlife Park which is the largest zoological park in Nigeria and a famous tourism destination.
“The park houses indigenous and exotic wildlife species and other facilities for recreation for tourists,’’ he said.
The commissioner also noted that innovative events and programmes like the marathon would help to strengthen efforts at promoting ecotourism in the state.
In her remarks, Acting General Manager, Plateau State Tourism Corporation, Mrs Salome Bidda, said that the marathon was designed to encourage support for wildlife conservation at the Jos Wildlife Park.
“This marks the beginning of great commitment in conservation of wildlife, promotion of sports and healthy lifestyle,’’ she added.
Bidda said that with support from the state government, the Plateau State Tourism Corporation would roll out series of events annually to make the state the hub of ecotourism in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that athletes who participated in the marathon came from across the country and a few of them from neighbouring countries.
Some of them called for more races and other activities that would engage youths from all parts of Plateau.
The winner and the two runners-up at the marathon emerged from among Jos residents. (NAN)