Where oppression is king …

Where oppression is king …

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)

18 thoughts on “Where oppression is king …” by Tee Akindele (@teez)

  1. Truly, opression is king not only in the niger delta but in Nigeria as a whole
    interesting poem, well told.
    the first stanza got me, i totally love it.

    1. Thanks for your comment Paul, I’m glad you love the poem

  2. Told like this, Nigeria seems doomed. But it is this very oppression that will one day ensure an uprising to freedom. Soon. Very soon.
    Great poem as always, Tee.

    1. Hopefully soon, very soon Sis. Thanks for the compliment.

  3. hmmm,Tee,this is so insightful,yes the drums are rolling again and you are sure to hear Abracadabra,may God help us but I’m tired of this mess of a place.
    The poem got me so…
    You good

    1. Thanks for the compliment Gretty. And amen, God help us!

  4. Well done, Tee, really nice poem . God still rules in our affairs though…….

  5. Nice work Tee. Great as usual.
    well done.

    1. Thanks Remi, I’m glad you think so.

  6. Thanks berry. I know for sure God does!

  7. Moving poem i must say. It truly describes the cycle of problems faced in Nigeria. I pray change happens soon!

    1. Thanks for commenting Afro-princez, I pray so too.

  8. Tee, I was just wondering about the exact thing you were doing when you wrote this outburst of a poem. If you can remember, you can tell me, if you want to, anyway.

    This is a poem that belongs to the Dennis Osadebey days when Dennis Osadebey was still writing poetry, in my opinion. Nowadays, bitter poems like this one are modified so that they won’t really look like those in the era of pre-independence.

    Let me just say this: This is a riot in your ‘tee’-cup, dear. :) Most poets are at their best when their hearts are truly ‘congealed’ with bitterness at the hilt.

  9. this is nice…keeep it up.

    1. Thanks Brainy, Glad you think so.

  10. @Emmanuella, really if I could remember what I was doing apart from writing the poem I would have told you.
    Thanks for reading my poem and commenting anyway, although unfortunately, I can’t conclude that I understood the later part of your comment, but it sounded like you implied that the circumstances decried in the poem were mostly imaginary exaggerations… “riot in my tea-cup”?.

    1. The circumstances decried in this poem, Tee, are things we already know and are used to. “Riot in your ‘tee’-cup” is just a meaningless expression that jumped out of my fingers on my keyboard, but if I were to put meaning to that expression, I would say it in this fashion: “Ur head still dey pound over son-ting wey dem dey talk before-before & e still dey sef, dem just dey dance round am & we dey dance wit dem, one day we go mash each oda for foot.” Read this carefully before replying, if need be, hm? ;)

  11. @TEE-AKINDELE this is COOOOOOL i love the DICTION! cant just say enough…nice lines men….
    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.

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