First a caveat: the story of the delta is tricky. One fraught with a rigmarole of details and bilious emotions, but must still be told nonetheless. We owe it to ourselves, to literature and, most of all, to humanity.

And what is the best way to dispel this ambiguity: to begin by saying that the tale is rather a simple one. The details are numerous, disorganised, recurring. The Delta is the nexus of the Nigerian economy and the fulcrum of our existence. The Niger Delta is a gift as well as a curse, our plague as much as our pride.

The game of Niger Delta is an unfair one to which a whistle should have been blown long ago. Yet, the game continues in all unfairness and savagery; it has indeed become a first- come-first-swerve agendum. There‘s no gainsaying that the whistle should be blown; but where is the whistle? And who is the Umpire?

Definitely not Saraba. By creating a collage of art forms behind an evocative front cover, we have neither changed the outlook of the Delta nor influenced it. What we have done is to give back. Words in return for crude oil, rich heritage, guns, bad international publicity, political incorrectness, farcical outlook etcetera. We give you an Issue of questions, longing and memory. We give you an Issue, may we say, of hope.

We are no heroes. The heroes of the Niger Delta are slain martyrs, their blood spilled in dark waters. The masses, their livelihood frittered into oily creeks. Ours is to reproduce their echoes and let it resonate through cyberspace. We are giving them back their voices and lending ours too. We are creating unending voices.

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