I went to check my pigeonhole at work today and saw an almanac slotted in there by whoever.
It featured Orji Uzor Kalu, publicising a nebulous political ambition, and showing his latest political party as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Abia State is yet to recover from the eight years of legendary misgovernance it suffered under Kalu from 1999 to 2007, which were followed by another eight years of the same under his former lackey, Theodore Orji.
It is only in Nigeria that someone like Kalu will continue to be given relevance, so much so that he is advertising keeping “hope alive.” And what hope would that be? The hope of jumping from one party to the other in order to be allocated a juicy position, election into which would be a fait accompli long before the ballots are cast.
The hope that Nigerians will never be delivered from recycling discredited politicians whom our “collective amnesia,” as famed Wole Soyinka calls it, inexplicalby puts on pedestals.
This sickening situation calls for the release of this poem, which I wrote in a moment of anger in June 2016. The All Progressives Congress (APC) had assumed power in Nigeria on May 29, 2015 and was rapidly disowning its fabulous campaign promises, such as making the Naira to be at par with the dollar and getting petrol to sell at N45 per litre.
That anyone swallowed these fairytale promises in the first place confirms Dean Koontz’s assertion that “It is human nature to want to believe in the wizardry of the magician,” which wizardly often fails. As one female journalist had warned, everyone suddenly realised there wasn’t any magic wand for fixing things in politics.
Incredibly, when the pledges were hastily chucked as infeasible, some of my compatriots were defending those elected on APC ticket and justifying the volte-face. #smh
But I didn’t post the poem immediately because it didn’t have the redemptive tone or call for prayer that I usually conclude such sociopolitical commentaries with. At the same time, I was loath to revise the poem.
What was I to do? As I mulled over this today, I was reminded of prophetic warnings in the Scriptures that seemed to resign themselves to the inevitability of the people’s destruction for unrepentant sin. I saw that the harshness of the tone was meant to capture the people’s attention, hopefully for a turnaround. It didn’t necessarily mean that God had given up on His people.
So I’m posting the poem as it came, unmoderated. Hopefully, someone will read and contemplate. Hopefully, we won’t keep allowing politicians to pull the wool over our eyes. Do let me know your views on this.
Do we really want to fight corruption, clean as a whistle?
Do we honestly want to see “change” actualised?
Though some will term these questions rhetorical
They fail to see how in our polity it’s all been trivialised
We’re “fighting” corruption but our “white knight” has feet of clay
He and his underlings have skeletons in their vaults
Turning a blind eye to their own malfeasance while others they bray
Despising the lady with the scales who their avengement halts
And on change, how can we accomplish what we can’t define
When the proponents have done an about-face and the elite are dumb?
Whining about the black gold, what happened to the diversification line?
Hiking prices they swore they will sink to rock bottom
Go on, Nigerians, and continue what you do with great aplomb
Fight one another, hurl insults and venerate your leaders
Ask no hard questions, make excuses for them, pick up the pieces after every bomb
And when elections are due again, invite back the same brood of vipers
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2017.
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