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Nigeria at 54

    People and Places The Tourist Trail

    Healing Waters : Ikogosi Warm Springs

     

    Despite having a democratic process which is hardly in its infancy, it would seem that political transparency, accountability and visionary leadership continues to be an elusive quality in the landscape of Nigeria`s political narrative.

    However, browsing through pictures of Ikogosi  Warm Springs Resort in Ekiti State my reaction is almost celebratory. Here is a concrete metaphor of what is possible in Nigeria with the right leaders and  public administrators.

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    Only a  few years ago, this place was a sorry sight.  The chalets smelt damp with moss and  mold. The swimming pool was a health hazard- with all manner of water insects happily swimming in its murky depths. The forest trail seemed a little precarious and exceedingly unkempt.

    With an increasing sense of disappointment and resignation, I remembered  the hours of fun and  adventure  with my family right here as a child.  The warm springs appeared to have become another casualty. Another testament to the proverbial culture of neglect and poor maintenance which has become almost an insignia of our public institutions.

    Not anymore though.

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    From the  chlorinated indoor pool to the meticulously restored colonial chalets , this resort set within 116-hectares of verdant, lush forest is truly a first class getaway.

    And the  new facilities are impressive : a modern bar and outdoor restaurant, a 1000 capacity amphitheatre, arts and crafts centre and an imaginatively conceived trek which takes you along the forest trail  to the paddling stream where the warm and cold currents meet.

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    As I peruse these  pictures, I am overwhelmed by the potential that this place holds-potential unlocked by the vision of one good leader and his able cohorts of determined individuals. It is important to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of men and women who are not only willing to serve, but  determined to make a constructive difference.

    What might Nigeria look like with a few more dedicated leaders, administrators and public servants?

    If we are to see sustained  change in  the way public infrastructure is managed and maintained in our lifetime, then actions must speak louder than words. We must enthusiastically encourage and publicly support exemplary leaders and public servants who have succeeded in the challenge of governance and leadership regardless of political affiliations or allegiances.