Maybe not Maybe (part 2)

The current political class could do this country a world of good
While it is still within their power to do good
Ensure that those who looted are never elected again
And that those elected never have the opportunity to loot again
A country with a legislative framework for all in authority
To make transparency and good governance a necessity
For we have all it takes to obtain the reality of the promise
Together we shall clock-block anyone who wills against the promise

Africa has come of age. It is no longer under the orbit of any extra continental power.
It should no longer take orders from any country, however powerful.
The fortunes of Africa are in our hands to make or to mar
The fortunes of Nigeria are in our hands to make or to mar
For too long we have been kicked around while the leaders and cloaks live in luxury
For too long we have been treated like adolescents who cannot discern their interests and act accordingly
For too long has it been presumed that the African needs outside ‘experts’ to tell him who are his friends and who are his enemies.
The time has come when we should make it clear that we can decide for ourselves who we call enemies

That we know our own interests
And how to protect those interests;
That we are capable of resolving African problems without presumptuous lessons in ideological dangers which, more often than not
Have no relevance for us, or for the problem at hand that makes us rot
It is high time we stood for our destiny
For no man or god shall hand us our destiny
We have all we need to get all we want
But first we need stop sycophants that stand on high towers to rant

After over half a century of independence, Nigeria
The potential superpower of Africa
Has travelled in reverse as younger nations come of age to take center stage
The periods of the first regimes, once regarded with ridicule for their lack of imagination and progressive spirit now seem like the golden age
Awolowo, Azikiwe, Sardauna of Sokoto and Tafawa Balewa managed the state
Yet the country experienced progress like fellow states
With the limited revenues derived from taxes, cocoa, groundnuts and other agricultural products
We stood tall shoulder to shoulder because of our code of conduct

Even when Gowon executed a bloody, expensive civil war which was daft
With Awolowo in finance, Nigeria came out without a single kobo in debt
Murtala Mohammed gave the nation and continent a new sense of purpose because of his obsession with love for the country’s success
With his vision and decisiveness after sacrificing his own material possessions
These men had several things in common
Things which made them unique and uncommon
That which made them uncommon today has become ethos of the past
For the leaders of today have rejected the path of the past to navigate the path of waste

These were men that had love for their country and continent
Who stood and believed in the dreams of their contingents
They had willingness to sacrifice and a refusal to use the resources of the state for their personal benefit
But today we have created a leadership style dominated by misfits
Except for Awolowo – a business man and a lawyer
So had other legitimate sources of income in his drawer
All died near penniless and in case Sardauna of Sokoto in debt
For the understood the meaning of sacrificing for the future for a glory untapped

In light of today, one could blame them for not using their positions to guarantee a comfortable future for their families
For not keeping for their lineage a mansion filled with all of the world’s currencies
Their ethics prevented them from treating the state as their private property
Today’s nonentity sees Nigeria as their own entity
Looking through the lives of the children of these selfless men – most are not rich
And the rich made use of the education kept within their reach
For education should be the right for all
And not a privilege for some who can play ball

My head aches again with the mess that has stayed supreme
For a country that has revered revolution as we stand as monostreme
A cup of tea won’t be able to do the trick
For too much caffeine in the system already making me sick
I take a hold of nature’s pleasure
Something we all should be able to treasure
So quickly I take a puff to calm my sanity
As I unravel the words of Chinua Achebe’s sanity

The only thing we have learnt from experience
Is that we learn nothing from experience
A man who makes troubles for others is also making trouble for himself
You cannot destroy a nation’s future without ultimately hurting yourself
Nigeria is what it is because the leaders are not what they should be
For they await a messiah to command – Peace; be still
One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised
Not thinking twice about the glorification iniquity may have promised

When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no sit for him
It looks at you with a smile like a well casted film
He tells you not to worry because he brought his own stool
Until gradually you become one of his tools
When old people speak it is not because of the sweetness of words in our mouths
Or because there is nothing else to meditate about
It is because we see something which you do not see
For the young is blessed with a vision to look but yet can’t see and thus remain at sea

People say if you find water rising up to your ankle
That it is time to do something about it, not when it is around your neck
A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followership,
And an educated, morally grounded leadership
I tell my students, it’s not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself
Somebody next door who looks like your very self
For it is easier to be one with one who supports you
Very normal to be one who carries and shares same ideologies with you

What’s more difficult is to identify with someone you don’t see
Who is very far away, a different colour from what you see
One who eats different kind of food!
Who has a different standard for good!
When you begin to do that then literature is really doing wonders
Breaking all barriers and sunders
But every time we’ve spent together has been nothing but truthful lies
A promise that has taken us from one trial to a worse trial

The most important thing about me is that my life has been full of changes
For one thing we are guaranteed in life is change
Therefore when I observe the world
I don’t expect to see the world I was born into remaining void
I don’t expect to see it just like I was seeing the fellow who lives in the next room
I expect a change, a growth to fill every available room
A will from everyone to get better
And not to relent on the glory days or misfortunes of her crater

What a country needs to do is be fair to all citizens
A country that acknowledges all her citizens
Whether people are of different ethnicity or gender
Should never affect or cause ripple in the agenda
A place where we all can stand with the name that unites us all
Where we can reach new heights from the shoulders of leaders past that stood tall
A place where the poor is given a chance to make wealth
And the wealth of the rich is also protected

Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him
Politics is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality better than that which was handed to him
The problem with leaderless uprisings taking over is that you don’t always know what you get at the other end
For we know only of the evil at but only one end
If you are not careful you could replace a bad government with one much worse
That which makes the discarded and overthrown a better curse
Democracy is not something you put away for 10 years then in the 11th year you wake up and start practicing it again
We have to begin to learn to rule ourselves again

The damage done in one year can sometimes take ten to twenty years to repair
Even when all hands are on deck with all to be done executed square and fare
How long shall it take then to make amends for evil perpetrated in eight years?
What will it take to give hope to one born and bred in tears?
For more discoveries has brought more horror rather than joy
Where we are educated enough only but to toil
Maybe I read too much to the lives of the masses
Or just maybe I overestimate the value of our resources

My parents were early converts to Christianity in my part if Nigeria
This was the origin of my tutorials
They were not just converts – keeping their faith to themselves and staying in their holes like cockroaches
My father was an evangelist – a religious teacher
He and my mother travelled for thirty-five years to different parts of Igbo-land spreading the gospel
With the hope of breaking ignorance’s spell
In fact, I thought that Christianity was a very good and a very valuable thing for us
But after a while, I began to feel that the story I was told about religion wasn’t perhaps completely whole that something was still hidden from us

I think back to the old people I knew when I was growing up
People who gave me hope to aim for the topmost top
And they always seemed larger than life
Not because they had everything needed in life
But because they had a reason to dream of tomorrow
They saw an end to everything that represented sorrow
It was easy for them to believe what they were given as promises
Since they had men who gave value to their words ruling their premises

I liked Yeats! That wild Irishman
His simplicity today will make him superhuman
I really loved his love for his language, his flow
It was so easy to understand and follow
His chaotic ideas seemed to me just the right thing for a poet
Same thing that made Joseph Hill a prophet

He was always on the right side
And never feared to state to which side he was bound
He may be wrong headed
Stubborn and head strong
But his heart was always on the right side
He wrote beautiful poetry for emancipation
The emancipation of future generation

The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and Africans in very lurid terms
An image that has announced Africa in all of the bad realms
All of these done to justify the slave trade and slavery
But never was mention made of a few men’s bravery
They were the example to follow
But their minds and dreams remain shallow
Called themselves the superior race – a sect that knows the way
But yet are the architects of the disgrace – a race laced with shame in sway

3 thoughts on “Maybe not Maybe (part 2)” by Ogbole Samson (@ogbolesamson)

  1. The ideas concerning Africa and Nigeria spread throughout the lines of the poem are quite thought-provoking. Well done!

    1. always welcome @ogbolesamson… keep on!

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