The Idea of a Colony in Ifowodo’s The Oil Lamp
The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is one of the world’s most extensive wetlands. Defined by dense mangroves, rain forest, creeks and rivers that empty into the Atlantic, this region of rich alluvial soil is blessed with abundance of mineral resources, especially crude oil which has remained the foundation of Nigeria’s economy, a catalyst of national politics and a major foreign exchange earner for the country. However, a study of the region’s history reveals a peculiar sense of objectification traceable to slave merchandise in the 16th century through western colonial economy to the post-independent period. Using Ogaga Ifowodo’s poetry collection, The Oil Lamp, as a creative fulcrum, this paper exploits the theoretical grammar of Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Dialogism and Inter-textuality to interrogate the peculiar mode of objectification which the Niger Delta has faced through time and its ramifications in the history of Nigeria’s awkward federation.
Key Words: Niger Delta poetry, Ogaga Ifowodo, Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Dialogism, Inter-textuality, Environment.