From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Bikers from Latin American Motorcycles Association (LAMA) will on Tuesday commence the tour of eleven states of the federation to highlight the heritage sites, landmarks and museums in the country.
The bikers are drawn from USA, Mexico, UK, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Paraguay, Germany, Holland and Nigeria.
The expedition, to be flagged off at Eagle Square, Abuja, according to the leader of the group, Mario Nieves, will last over two weeks and will afford the cyclists a sight of 250 Nigerian cities.
The states to be toured by the bikers, numbering 12 and their Nigerian counterparts are FCT, Niger, Kogi, Anambra, Cross River, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Osun, Ogun and Lagos.
“The Nigerian people have been incredible and hospitable and have set examples for a lot of people in our countries. We all belong to the same human race and we are here to let everyone know about Nigeria,” Nieves said when the riders were hosted by Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
He described the expedition as a home coming for most of them, particularly himself, saying his grandmother and great grandmother were both descendants of African slaves.
The selected heritage sites to be visited in the course of the tour, according to the the Acting Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kadiri, include the Lord Lugard residence in Lokoja, the first primary school in northern Nigeria, Igbo Ukwu archeological site, the Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe Mausoleum, Old Residency Building, Calabar and National Museum, Port Harcourt.
Other selected sites are Adaka Boro Park, Benin City Walls and Moats, Iwo Eleru Cave near Owo, Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove, Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, National Theatre, Lagos, Idanre Hills, Oban Hills National Parks and the first storeyed building in Nigeria in Badagry.
Mohammed said the bikers’ presence was a testimony to federal government’s quest to promote the country’s cultural heritage to the world.
In addition, he disclosed that all the visitors got their visas on arrival to underscore that FG’s visa on arrival policy is working.