View Full Version : Nigeria @ 51: Elegy To A Confounding Country

Akintokunbo A Adejumo
Sep 30, 2011, 06:51 PM
<p><strong>I normally don't join in celebrating Nigeria's Independence Day anywhere I am in the world; at least not since the late 70s. I also do not write the usual piece analyzing our problems and preferring solutions. Other better, able and more flamboyant writers always find time to do that, but to what end? Nobody seems to ever listen to us, year in, year our. We do it all over again.</strong></p>
<p><strong>Our leaders stand on rostrums in parade grounds and exhort us and repeat promises they said in their election campaigns; read-off dubious achievements; spend a lot of our money partying and giving largesse to their lackeys and sycophants, and forget the purpose for which they are called Leaders.</strong></p>
<p><strong>I wrote this piece in the early 80s, and sent it off to Daily Times of Nigeria to publish. I don't know if they ever published it, but here I am 30 years later, with the same bad poetry, but still relevant to our sad situation today.</strong></p>
<p><strong>What is the point I say? Thirty years is almost a lifetime to change things, to develop, to progress. But for Nigerians, it is even getting worse. Is it only me who feel that? No, it cannot be only me.</strong></p>
<p><strong>So here is my bad poetry. I am never a Geoffrey Chaucer, John Keats, William Shakespeare or John Pepper Clarke, Niyi Osundare, Wole Soyinka, Ken Saro-Wiwa or the upcoming Odimegwu Onwumere. So forgive me. I have only made a few adjustments to reflect today.</strong></p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, Oh, my dear country</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Our own dear native land,</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">I cry and suffer for thee</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">In these your hard and cruel times,</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Will you ever survive?</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, Oh dear Motherland</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">You did not do this to yourself</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Rather, they did this to you</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Curse be to these perpetrators and traitors</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">And they shall not go unpunished</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, Oh Blessed Nigeria</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">You have been debased</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">You have been raped, maimed, looted and quartered</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">By people of low esteem, selfishness and greed</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">And of no conscience who never considered</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, Oh my country</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Soldiers have maimed you; politicians have raped you</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Civil servants have looted you; business leaders have duped you</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">And now it is a free for all</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">And everybody is taking part in the looting</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, Oh Nigeria of glorious and hopeful yesteryears</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Your people cry out to thee</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Your people worship Allah and Jesus Christ</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">They pray for you everyday to God</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Yet the same hypocritical people plunder you everyday</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, the slumbering Giant of Africa</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Your image is soiled internationally</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">That your children are under siege home and away</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Insecurity, kidnappings, religious riots</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Tribal bigotry and official corruption are your bane</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, the country of 150 million people</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">We all cry for you, indeed we all cry for you</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Your governments do not respect you</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">The governed do not respect you</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">So who will respect you?</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, dear Naijaland of great potentials</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Giant of Africa, when are you going to wake up</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Wake up from your moribund slumber</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">You cannot continue like this</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Don't let them trample all over you</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, Oh Nigeria</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Your children are dying like flies</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Due to the insensitivity of inept and evil leaders</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">And you are sinking deeper into the quagmire of graft</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Corruption becomes of you, so produce a leader for us</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Nigeria, oh Nigeria, can we really say Happy Birthday?</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">Instead of celebrating your Independence Anniversary</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">With parties, food, wine and diverted wealth</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">I am sitting quietly in my parlour</p>
<p style="margin-left: 30px;">And crying, while the fools laugh.</p><br><br><a target="_blank" href=http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19857><b>..Read the full article</b></a><br>