The omnipresence of human beings is a fundamental fact of Eastern Nigeria’s geography. Inhabiting the 29,400 square miles of land area are some 12,400,000 people1: men, women and especially children, of various languages, dialects and cultures. Under peacetime conditions, one is seldom out of sight of people and their habitations on journeys around the region; in few parts of Eastern Nigeria is it possible to feel isolated from a vibrant and emerging society. The reassuring sight of men and women about their business, walking or cycling along roads, forest paths and ‘bush’ trails in the countryside, or along streets in the villages and busy towns, is the reality of life in this significant section of Africa. Only over limited stretches, as in the remote interior of the Oban Hills or the swamps of the lower Niger Delta, are populations negligible or non-existent.2 In these characteristics Eastern Nigeria is distinct from most of tropical Africa where sparser populations and extensive stretches of under-settled land are the rule rather than the exception.
KeywordsNiger Delta Language Group Linguistic Group Guinea Coast Cement Block
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