FEATURE ARTICLE

Augustine C. OhanweTuesday, October 24, 2017
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LAMENTATION

ad feelings
with spleen swelled with gall
as we watch a nation
blessed with abundance drifting,
its foundation cracking
and orthodoxies breaking up.
A wealthy nation,
unable to fill the stomach of its citizens
in the years of plenty
when the economy enjoyed a tapestry of green.
What must our fate be,
in this time of economic drought?
But what grieves us most
is why we should suffer in the midst of plenty
as if under a forced vow of poverty.
Instead of heap of gold,
we stagnate in the hill of sorrow,
and we fold our hands and submit to the path of ruins.

Hell seems empty
and all its devils relocated
to our countryís backyard,
and our political actors
unable to direct mind over matter,
refuse to learn lessons from our chequered history,
unwilling to shut the door to the unfortunate past,
and shift forward-gear for progress.
The past cannot be changed,
this they do not know.
The present will influence our future,
this they fail to grasp.
The nation has lost its national grace
and position.
Gold do really rust in the hands of peddlers.

The worst is yet to come,
as we watch ethnic and divisive politics
subordinates the governance of inclusiveness
with impunity.
Citizens no longer think in terms of nation
but along the line of ethnic nationality,
a concept borne out perceived marginalization.
Constructive ideas from fertile minds
are discarded in preference to personal fiat
devoid of democratic complexion.
We preach peace,
and peaceful co-existence in diversity,
but fan the ember of discord with one hand,
and with the other,
we feed coal to the simmering tension
beneath the political surface.

Suicide, rare in our culture,
now occurs in successive bewilderment
with Lagos lagoon enjoying the lion share.
We mourn not for ourselves
but for our smooth faced children,
who through our fault,
their youth and innocence
have been robbed by the system,
their dreams and aspiration blasted.
A few candlesticks of hope that exist
flicker weakly
as if there is hope in despair.

The hoopoe, the ominous bird
that sings the song of dirge
twitters on the Iroko trees
near the Uzi Shrine
where my ancestors used to congregate
for breaking of kolanuts, deliberation
and libation.
It spells bleak!
But itís not too late
to keep at bay, the clan of vultures,
whose wings of death darken our sky.

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