Poetry: Centenary Strides – Nigeria’s 100 Years Of Tears

Poetry: Centenary Strides – Nigeria’s 100 Years Of Tears

By Opinions | The Trent on December 31, 2013
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FILE: Nigerian school pupils

by Soyombo Ayomikun

In the northern town called Zungeru
Ink embraced paper as our union was birthed
The North and South got controversially knitted
By the prompting of the white man, Lugard
As the rites began,the Niger river whispered
To Lugard’s wife, Flora, concerning the christening
Suddenly with bright eyes she thugged at her husband
“Let’s name this baby Nigeria,” she said

With amalgamation the foundation got layed
Leading to the resurgence of perhaps another tower of Babel
The barrier between several ethnic groups got hacked down
With all encouraged to embrace in love & unity
As the walls of partition came crashing down
The North & South peeped at themselves
They smiled,then with unsure strides matched towards each other
Following which as one they lifted the coat of arms

As they physically embraced and dined
In their hearts a bloody battle began
One for recognition, and control, and supremacy
In an attempt to protect their tribes and shield them from extinction
They even brainstormed to come up with a National Anthem
Rendition of which is daily supposed to rebirth our oneness
And as they dispersed following amalgamation a war was already brewing
Not long after that we drank the bitter wines from Biafra

Calm got shattered as a region declared independence
Concept of The Republic of Biafra from the government inducing a vomit of bile
They designed a flag & called themselves ‘Land Of The Rising Sun’
As they perceived that amalgamation would not bring the desired salvation
They sang of a readiness to protect their hearth from all their foes
With a determination to even perish while protecting their territory
Then Nigeria declared war on a supposed brother,Biafra
At the end over 2 million lives perished

Biafra got subdued but that still didn’t usher in peace
With all desiring to be the King as if all were born to rule
In gray rooms reminiscent of hell coups were plotted
Following which leaders are fell as logs of wood by snipers’ evil ingenuity
From one greedy soul to the next our baton of leadership got snatched
Like the cursed ring that ruined countless in ‘Lord of The Rings’
Then Babel’s foundation began to shake
With all clamouring that the nation be split

Never can we even forget the western man
That promised to as a saviour rise for all
He campaigned with the nation embracing his spirit
And at the polls justly the people’s choice was made known
But again evil stirred the wind and the election got cremated
With the innocent man slammed behind bars into darkness
In an ocean of tea his spirit at the end got drowned
Making the nation sigh again as suffering continued

Still the clamour for power continued
As the amalgamated land kept dwindling away
Potholes began to dine on our roads
Feeding on flesh and blood of hapless Nigerians
Our aircrafts became the lion’s den
Luring souls into the skies to get them consumed in a blaze
With nature sparing us of typhoons,wildfires and earthquakes
Daily we mobbed ourselves as if we are robots programmed for autodestruction

In 100 years we’ve journeyed in a circle of deceit
Now we are exactly back where we started from
Sitting by the Niger River as a mourning orchestra
With our tears pouring into it as it innocently flows
But who says hope won’t lead us home again
Who says we have been irredeemably sentenced & doomed
As amidst us lurks selfless passionate hearts ready to labour
Hearts we ought to crown kings that we may find our haven of peace

Nigeria is the aged woman selling Fura on the streets of Sokoto
The bus conductor screaming ‘ Ojuelegba’ in Lagos
Nigeria is the little suckling child in the village of Umunya
The tiny girl mutilated by bombs on the streets of Borno
Nigeria is the helpless leader within the walls of Aso Rock
The vibrant genius in a hut in Lokoja
We don’t have to break this beautiful calabash named Nigeria
Rather,we should cause it to spring with a fountain of life healing the world

Dr. Soyombo Ayomikun works at the Omotosho Power Plant in Ondo State. He can be reached at [email protected]

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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