Defying violence, hikers head for the hills in central Nigeria


The old car number plates still carry the inscription beloved of the people of Plateau State in central Nigeria: “Land of peace and tourism”.

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Years of spiralling violence have rocked the region of outstanding natural beauty. But tired of the unrest, young hikers have now decided to revive the slogan.

Every weekend, Andrew Niagwan and his friends defy the insecurity to chart new trails and kick-start tourism in the breathtaking lush countryside around the state capital Jos.

“We now have over 60 hiking locations and we are still discovering some more,” Niagwan says as he hikes nearing the top of the Shere Hills, a mountain range that not so long ago attracted tourists from across Nigeria.

Holding a can of white spray paint, Niagwan draws arrows on stones to mark the fresh trail.

Up ahead, a…

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