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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has put paid to speculations in the media that he is about to destroy natural heritage sites such as caves in Awgu Local Government, as he paid a second visit in two days to the black spot where kidnapping and murder have been committed.

He used the opportunity to affirm that at no time did he contemplate destroying caves and other tourism and conservation assets within the forest.

According to him, government had to take preemptive actions to flush the hoodlums out of their hideouts in the forest while getting set to roll out a permanent solution that will secure the local government from the activities of roadside and forest marauders.

The first thing to do, he said, was to clear the forests and make them unattractive as hideouts for criminals.

This action is not confined to Awgu but will traverse the state as part of his determination to maintain the status of Enugu State as one of the country’s most peaceful states.

“I will ensure that nobody is allowed to damage that reputation,” he said.

Although he acknowledged that the bush clearing will come with a huge cost, he however maintained that the advantages far outweigh the cost considerations.

“It is about security and welfare of the people of Enugu State.

“It will also open the forests and help unleash the agricultural potentials of the area by making it easy for farmers to have the confidence to return to their farms.

“Finally, it gives government the opportunity to harness and develop the tourism potential in the recesses of these forests, some of which have not seen any human activity in generations.”

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