A baby roams the streets
Hawking worthless wares
She’s dizzy in the heat
The sun has scorched her bare feet
She’s had for breakfast
Only the taste of her own sweat
Her future is a puppet
On the strings of politics
Her plight is an inconsequential statistic.
The price of a sense of judgment
Used to be a grinding machine or motorcycle –
We give up our soul’s conscience
To sign up for their political party.
Now a vote is bought for rice – a paltry derica
And a note of five hundred naira,
This is to feed us for a day
And school us on where to put our thumbprint.
So traitors in their guises exchange batons in every election
One reign of treachery to another
And we pretend to wonder why we don’t have leaders
In a land where oppression is king and greed his queen.
Our gun totting uniformed men under a beret
Give us as much reason to be afraid
As the dagger brandishing bandit in broad day light.
The blood that is shed on our soil
Has gone dumb from screaming at deaf ears;
From our explosive oil wells to our courts of injustice
From our fatal highways to our ‘corridors of power’
Terror rules and abuse exerts her taxes
In gallons of innocent blood.
Every citizen has a machete to his throat
And a hard stone is pressed against every ear
In the blindness of our darkness; in the name of God falsely
Villages are raided, defenseless people slaughtered.
While the evil culprits go free, we tackle religion
We give faith the bad name in order to hang it
The ill wind of false religion farts intolerantly in our faces
Light fizzles and darkness get’s bolder
In the land where oppression is king.
The drumbeats once more are rolling
Now the magicians are better practiced
They’ll dip leprous hands deep into their regalia
And say words that sound like “abracadabra”
The people again will pretend to wonder
As ballot boxes multiply or vanish
People will be threatened; some ‘accidentally’ executed
In their bid to ensure that we’ll never be free
From this wild cycle where oppression is king.
©2010, Tee Akindele (http://poetry.tee-akindele.com)