Otunba Segun Runsewe, the flamboyant former Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) is obviously fighting his removal by engaging some media soldiers and activists to paint his sack from the country’s apex tourism agency as vendetta and ethnic witch hunting.
Already, Afenifere, the Yoruba Socio Cultural group through its spokesman, Yinka Odumakin has condemned Runsewe’s removal, accusing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) of “using his office to promote ethnic agenda by replacing the Yoruba in government with his kinsmen…..”.
It would be recalled that on May 9, 2013 the Federal Government through a release signed by the SGF removed Otunba Runsewe as the DG of the NTDC. He was replaced by Mrs Sally Mbanefo, a top flight banker with Keystone bank.
As the removal of Otunba Runsewe continues to generate mixed reactions in the nation tourism sector, some of his critics are of the opinion that the sack of Runsewe is overdue.
According to findings by www.yemojanews.com reporters, there is a strong believe in the industry that Runsewe’s tourism is done only in the media. It was alleged that Runsewe actually destroyed the tourism industry.
“Tell me what Runsewe did to promote tourism in the country that parades many zoos before Runsewe came on board. The zoo in Ibadan is gone, the one in Yaba, Lagos has disappeared. Where is the Yankari games reserve? There was Agodi garden in Ibadan that had 18 species of trees that cant be found anywhere in the world. Runsewe sat there as NTDC boss and the whole trees were cut to make fire woods.” A concerned industry watcher said.
We also gathered that Otunba Segun Runsewe failed in the area of hotel regulation and categorization.
‘’Apart from that, Otunba Runsewe made sure he killed Tour Guide Company in Nigeria, and its because there are no tourism sites again”, the source said.
We were also informed that Otunba Runsewe had the opportunity to develop museums, libraries and make national monuments tourism attractions, but he was interested in projects that will line his pockets with hard currencies.
“Where is the Durba parade in the north now and what is the involvement of the NTDC under Runsewe?. Even the Argungu fishing festival is fading away. Look at Lagos, with so much water, the NTDC should have developed boat regalia in Lagos. But the only thing that can be credited to Runsewe is the Abuja Carnival. Tell me, is it only Abuja that should be the centre of tourism in Nigeria?”. The source asked.
Meanwhile, we furthered gathered that Otunba Runsewe who is popularly called ‘Mr Tourism’ has made so much money for himself through incessant travels outside the country.
“There is no country in the world that Runsewe has not visited in the name of attracting tourism investors, but unfortunately, he has not been able to bring a single investor since became DG of the NTDC . What he has been able to is make money for himself.
The source informed us that Otunba Runsewe has about three eye popping mansions in Abuja alone that is valued at several billions of naira while his garages are filled with exotic state of the are automobiles.
“Everything was about developing himself financially. So I think the Federal Government has made a good decision by kicking him out”. Our source stated.