“A jigsaw of verdant pieces”
An aerial peep at the Niger Delta from the skies gives one a tickling feeling of awe and indescribable admiration.
The whole terrain forms a mosaic of lush and verdant carpets. One cannot but wonder what lies within each of those pieces of small plush islands encircled by lulling creek waters.
Luxuriant angalas (mangroves) adorn the fringes of the creeks like coiled icing lining the rim of a cake.
At a corner of the landscape, some of the Islands bear a tone of metallic gray with dry and barren tree trunks and angala (mangrove) roots intertwined and shooting out like a patch of thorns.
Suddenly, the fascinating panorama is interrupted by punctuations of rigs and well heads haphazardly dotting the landscape.
One cannot but wish they weren’t there.
One can’t but wish there were no hydrocarbon reservois in the Delta, and that there were no militancy and unrest in her enclaves.
One cannot but imagine that those picturesque patches of land were beautiful Island resorts and multimillion dollar marine tourist parks.
The magnificent sunsets at the distant horizons,
the abundant and variety of flora and fauna,
the cool and sating breeze at nightfall, the elegant swaying of the gentle waters at the passage of a motorized dugout canoe,
and the smiles on the faces of the children of a waterside village as they bid a visitor farewell: all come together to prove beyond all reasonable doubt, that this region deserves more preservation, protection and development than we presently accord it.
Someday, the oil will finish, some day this land will be free; our only fear is that by then, our beloved Delta may have been completely stripped of her virginity.
Nevertheless, whenever I behold the delta, I see the future cynosure of Nigeria’s tourism.
Some might say I am a wishful thinker. Yes, thank you. Even in these wishful thoughts and vague dreams I have chosen to live.
As our elders used to say: “In the dirtiest dirts, lie the greatest wealths”.Tweet
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