Nigeria, East of the Niger

River Niger Bridge, gateway to the South-east                                                                 Photo: African Press Club

Dateline: Anambra State, Nigeria

In line with request from friends and members of the African Press Club, I have been recording my trip in Nigeria, a country located in West Africa.

Last week, I flew into Asaba, the capital of Delta State in the South-south region of the country. The airport is a 30-minute drive to the city of Onitsha in the South-east which was my destination. Only a bridge separates the two. The South-south and South-east used to be the old Eastern region, otherwise known as Biafra which fought a war of secession from Nigeria. Over 3million people died, due to starvation resulting from food embargo placed by the Nigerian government. It was brutal. Fifty years after, the impact on the region is still visible.

There were events in Nigeria this month to commemorate this sad chapter in the history of the country. I present to you pictures from the South-east, the famous Onitsha bridge, Asaba airport, the rain forest that is the region and village life. When Africans say village life, it refers to life closest to nature or rural areas.

As you will see in these pictures, people are nestled in the forest and some environs still play host to red earth typical of these parts, instead of concrete. Walking on bare sand was amazing. The easiest means of transport in the village are bicycles and motorbikes. I tried my hands on one.

Villagers are not hobbled by the rat race that is city life. They eat fresh organic food. Their lives are enviable, in some ways.

I visited the Ekulu river in Okuzu Mbana in Oba. It was a delight to see children swimming and playing without any care in the world. In the morning, there was no hint of modernity. All you hear are sounds of birds, the cool harmattan breeze, and the innocence of mother-nature. It was peaceful and serene. There is indeed healing in nature.

Industrialization and so-called development has its benefits. But it also destroys nature. I do hope that some parts of village life will survive rampaging development, including massive felling of trees. I’m confident that you’ll learn a thing or two more about Nigeria and by extension, Africa from this post. Enjoy!

 

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