Wednesday, 5 January 2011

In The Land of Dignitaries

In the Land of Dignitaries

Many were called but few were called to choose

And placed at the centre of the country road

Where all goodies never elude their long throat

From where I stand I see snaky hills surrounding man-made mansions

Gwarinpa!* An estate almost as big as a state

Created by one already dead despite his everlasting wealth.

But one dead and thousands to go

And in other to keep alive, they steal

They steal the future of the people in other to nourish their present

They erect grotesque structures and set up gigantic accounts for their lineage yet unborn

While those alive are made to watch the sole of their own feet bleed as they walk the unending road, which only gets steeper and steeper with every climb.

You are welcome to our capital of excellence. We have more shopping malls than schools, and should there be a need for our children to be educated, we send them abroad to foreign lands where they learn how to speak with their nose, walk without their feet and eat without their hands.

Youths are the leaders of tomorrow, but that would be after all the fathers of October First* are dead.

“Who will save me?” says the son with a prodigal father

Who will save us from our own fathers!

The cries of the children are muffled by accentuated sounds of gbedu

The drums beat as we pay homage to utter foolishness and the worst scenery of mind poverty.

Chief! Oga kpata kpata! Egbόn! All are names given to those who are more equal than the others

While they bask in glories which every minute announces the doom of yet another great dream for a nation so blessed.

Yes, we love dancing, and we pride in our dexterity. We are natural dancers.

We could “dance, dance, dance, and forget our sorrows”.

But I ask: who is more foolish?

The dancer or the drummer?


* Gwarinpa estate is situated in Abuja the Capital City of Nigeria. It was commissioned by the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha during in his corrupt reign. It is the largest estate in Nigeria and all of West Africa. Most of the houses in this estate are owned by many past presidents, governors and senators who amass incredible amounts of wealth through corruption.

* October First, Nineteen Sixty was the day Nigeria gained independence from Great Britain, most of the so-called fathers of Independence who assumed leadership in effect are still alive today and actively in power.

© Emeka Okereke

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