Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Happy 53rd Independence Anniversary: Poems for Nigeria

Consistent with its mandate to nurture a generation of Nigerian youth who are patriotic, and develop their capacity to become involved in social and economic development, Spaces for Change(S4C)  issued out a call to young Nigerians to submit short poems and articles in commemoration of Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Day anniversary. The call generated substantial feedback and contributions.  Out of the 18 short poems and 10 articles received, we are happy to reproduce some of them here to the reading pleasure of our esteemed fans and followers. 

We wish all Nigerians and our great nation a happy celebration.


Such a vast expanse;
blessed but bound,
talented but tortured...
Such a great nation,
severed by two waters,
knitted at the centre,
lubricated from its Sheol,
fluent in three tongues...
Such a revered nation,
sending ambassadors
to the ends of the earth.
Such a beautiful people;
dark, coloured and goodly,
suffering amidst plenty,
suffering but smiling,
languishing but laughing.
Such a beloved nation,
a towering giant, so immense,
yet still an accursed toddler.

by Saintmoses Eromosele


By Betty Abah

I stumbled through Agege market area

Endured the spits of tomato traders;

‘You price like you have cerebral malaria!

Or don’t you, woman, live in Nigeria?

Our traders, reeling like Taylor’s Monrovia

Livid, living on rusting rails like looted Libya

Sailing against dwindling stocks, endangered

But de-subsidized days are advancing, eiyaa!

I took home, though, my diagnosis—ah, malaria!

Eye my famished kids like they live in Siberia

I looked into space, I asked in hysteria:

My God, how do we survive in Nigeria?

I slumped, watched the random TV special

See politicians reel out trillionth budget special

Winking, knowing the people aren’t any better

Whispering about their next dates in Valencia

I joined the line-up of hungry Nigerians

Wailing all the way to the ruler’s empire

But the prettiest of us didn’t return together

The gods chose them as conference materials

Hmm..., if you are pissed over conference materials

They will point and say, look at our first class engineers

Now into okada since the First Ladies so imperial

Have filled up the spaces from Oga to messenger!

I dare asked why prices are so shot up

Why the innocent are so locked up

Why our heads walk bottom up

They told me, ‘kai, you shut up!

You talk like a noisy, unnaija quitter

Did your ancestors know of Twitter?’

‘You need an urgent mental upgrade

No wonder you failed the 20TH grade

At Oluwole International Memorial

Even with shoes bought first grade from Asia

Unlike us shoeless first class materials

Who dreamt of a tokunbo pair from Ariaria.’

I watched Mr. Ruler dance disco in Australia

Deserting his de-subsidised, detonated Nigeria

At home, tinier rulers feast on remnant bones of masses

We only hear their Hilton snores as they pass their gases

I asked; how can we survive in Nigeria

With such rowdy administrative inertia?

Today, I asked if it’s now immaterial

That we scamper, scared like dementias

Unsure if we’ll survive bombs and bacteria

With police piling rogers, hospitals bacteria

But our Ruler grins down my ignominy

It’s our turn, you dumb, for tragedies!

---Betty Abah


Lately my thoughts have been lucid and borders on the morbid
If I can pen these it would be hotter than scorching acid
Vivid the cries of souls that started the day calm and happy
Incidentally many dribbled fate by just being placid
Net effect meant hoards met with what many can only imagine
Going forward its still a mystery like any surreal but bitter classics

Baby would have wondered just why mum called out to daddy
Everything in a blur its not the time to pretend 'I am happy'
Yet somehow the air fills up with the din as many cant help crying
Only minutes to go yet the destination requires more than flying
Not from lack of what to say would many start realigning
Desperation sure creates bonds that makes or mare surviving

Doses of beautiful words shared lifetimes ago in hearts now vying
You only live once so it makes for horizons to be so widened
If we get through this ordeal testimonies would not stop pouring
Now that its definite it would be through but not as we want it
God the giver of everything should accept us as we transcend this........

Adesoji Adebisi:    © S.O.J/Musicwithin . 08/06/2012 ; 09:33hrs gmt

A Nation’s Strength

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1904)

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy?

Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to Rust, their glory to decay.

And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.

Not gold because only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.


I heard yesterday, or was it today?
I heard a loud voice say..
"120 Naira  per litre,come this way!"
Blackman in a black market
Swiftly pursuing his racket.
Only glad to lend a helping hand
To a government that has gone mad.

Is it that this vampires are not satiated?
Our blood should have left them contented,
For they have fed on our flesh and our merits,
Must they also suck the juice from our spirits?
The gongs are sounding in the jungle
It says that this land could rumble
Then all gold would be rubble.

Yesterday it was fifty-five, forty-five
Today it's ninety-six Naira for lead fortified.
A mockery of a land of oil plenty
Where a Deltan child baths in spillage daily.
Oh, what a nation of one eyed men!
Gods of this land bear us solemn witness
Another fuel hike? What a sorry mess!
By David Opah


Ah! At this time
A time full of anger
A time like a dark night
A time when no one to shine the light
A time when their heart is difficult like a heartless man

At this time
I turn my back
And i see no one behind
Everyone melted away like wax
when the fire speaks
As uncertainty envelop the air

At this time
When all see only her faded glory
I am attache to her dream
I am attach to Nigeria dream like Siemens twins
Hoping to stumble on a diamond stretch                   ....

Emeleze Victor Onos

I have a nightmare...

That this nation so richly blessed has now turned into a source of terrible jokes amongst the comity of nations....

I have a nightmare....
That Nigeria is so unfortunate to have leaders who only plot to rape our common till whilst the people groan...

I have a nightmare....
That corruption has so entrenched itself in our national psyche that its impossible to define Nigeria without mentioning it.....

I have a nightmare....
That we the led have become so docile and foolish that we pitch tents with politicians whose stock in trade is fanning the embers of dis unity for their own selfish gains.....

I have a nightmare.....
Of a nation where the electorates vote purely out of ethnic and religious sentiments and would rather vote in a goat as long as it satisfies their base sentimental criteria....

I have a nightmare.....
Of a nation held captive by terrorism and ethnic militants to the point where it chooses to pay for their silence even when some still are not ready to end their bloody campaigns....

I have a nightmare....
Of a nation that chooses to pretend the issues it has are not worth discussing but goes about popping champagne bottles every time its October 1st.....

I have a nightmare.....
Of a nation where desperate men in need of rehabilitation go about churning out words designed to divide whilst hoping their evil posturing would endear them to those they pretend to champion their interests...

I have a nightmare.....
Of a nation that calls the name of God in everything whilst their reality is anything but Godly.....

I have a nightmare....
Of a people who lack the courage to stand up for their rights even in the face of obvious provocation....

I have a nightmare....
Of a nation that once did well without the coming of oil money....

I have a nightmare.....
Of gigantic ground nut pyramids in Kano, Cocoa from the South west and countless palm oil plantations littering the landscape of this unfortunate land....

I have a nightmare.....
Of a new generation who ought to be removed from the base mentality of old but spend valuable time arguing on cyberspace and defending those who ensure their currently bleak future remains so....

I have a nightmare....
Of a dream that once was but has been so raped that its now not even a shadow of its former self.....

I have a nightmare....
Of a dream that not only calls each and everyone of us "Compatriots", but enjoins us to Arise....

I have a nightmare....
Of a dream that says "with love and strength and faith" all should join hands to serve our fatherland....

I have a nightmare....
Of a nations tilting on the precipice and pretending that the evil day is not near....

I have a nightmare.....
Of a nation that has Everything it needs to be truly great but spends time basking in the false adulation of men who call it a giant without having the decency to note that its at best a giant on its knees....

I have a nightmare....
Of a time when this Oil ceases to flow and like a man who didn't prepare for the evil day, is left to wail at his avoidable stupidity....

I have a nightmare.....
Of the amount of money being spent this first day of October in celebrating mediocrity and failure.....


A Dream beckons.....
A Dream that one day this nation shall rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed ( Apologies Martin)....

A Creed that says "the labor of our heroes past shall NEVER be in vain".....

A Creed that reminds us of our unity in diversity.....

A Creed that remind us of our collective responsibility to see that this nation becomes the best its meant to be.....

A Creed that says we are ONE NATION BOUND IN FREEDOM, PEACE and UNITY!!!

I have a nightmare.....

A nightmare that must of necessity transform into a dream....

A dream of hope in the face of despair and belief in the greatness that we must become......


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