Miraculoasa Stanca Zuma!
The Majestic Mysterious ZumaIf you are looking for a destination for sightseeing or leisure you can feed your eyes on the majestic Zuma rock. It stands tall and majestic bestowing on the landscape the gift of its presence. Like a royal, the other mountains in and around Abuja and Niger State stay a respectable distance from it; actually paying it a kind of obeisance for its royal presence in the locality.Visitors and tourists to Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, cannot miss it. Zuma Rock, said to be 725 meters tall above its surroundings, 3.1 kilometers in circumference and stands at 623 feet, is one of the wonders of the city. Although originally located in Niger State, North of Abuja, along the expressway from Abuja to Kaduna, the monolith is indeed quite breathtaking. First time visitors; even residents of Abuja and environs, cannot but pause at the foot of this massive rock to appreciate the wonder of nature.Over the years, it has remained a major symbol of Abuja’s landscape, despite its geographical location in Niger State. The significance of the rock is furthered expressed by its display on the nation’s N1000 currency bill.A close look, reveals a sort of human face, looking whitish on the outside. This only adds to the myth of the rock. To most people, especially indigenes, it tells of the mysterious powers, surrounding the rock. This belief seems re-enforced by the story that the strange powers attached to Zuma Rock are responsible for the abandoned proposed five-star hotel that has become a shadow of itself, and now lies fallow, desolate and overtaken by bushes.While some attribute the reasons for its abandonment to lack of patronage, a position many fault considering the hotel has not commenced official business, indigenes insist the powers of the deities of Zuma Rock frustrated the completion of the project. For instance, some inhabitants of surrounding villages, who reside around the Zuma Rock, such as Gauaka, Dakwa, as well as Madalla Zuba, painted various traditional beliefs surrounding the rock. Many of them, mostly non-indigenes and die-hard Christians, claim that the rock has been responsible for the re-occurring high number of incidents and accidents along the Abuja-Kaduna Road leading to the loss of lives along the axis.Some even say the inability of the $700 million Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Niger State Government and a Canadian tourism development company, sometime in 2008 to take off, has to do with the mysterious powers behind the Zuma Rock. Perhaps, this is why the beautiful natural wonder has remained in its poor state with no concrete efforts to make it the real major centre of attraction, deserving of such a prestigious mountain.The story of the abandoned hotel is well known among residents of the area. Even a child can tell a first time visitor what happened to the hotel. According to them, the white men refused to heed the warnings of the villagers not to erect the hotel near Zuma Rock. They not only ignored them but went ahead to commence the construction right at the heart of the rock. This, the story goes, provoked the wrath of the deity of Zuma Rock. The stories of what happened to the white men and their local supporters sound like stories from a thriller.Author: Tubonemi – Nigeria