Nigeria! My strange native land,
by a well-worn building, under
a tattered Green-white stripe that
looks like your flag, I heard hums
in good voices, in innocence your
young bloods of kindergarten age
pledge with might to –
serve, honour and protect
strives of their heroes past.
But something about you bothers me.

Perhaps ‘ts God’s gifts to your clans
swampy, wooded coastal South
an oil rich earth distilling sweetness that
fills your veins with Wealth’s merry.
Mild sun rises, and unveils your
East’s lush rain forested trees and ‘ts age
long green woods of Nature’s pride.
In the North happiness stretches across hills
of your arable savannah yielding edibles,
a nation endowed, dwelling in plenty.

With all these treasures warming your palms
which Riches has chilled in other climes;
yet I join many of your country men in wonder.
Why are we honoured among the poor?
Why should your children clench to bowls
in rags importuning every passerby for alms?
Why are few very rich and many many paupers?
Your youths either turn deviants for want of jobs
sell themselves to brothels or gangs
or leave your shore for worse.

Words cannot tell this twist of fate
maybe ‘ts the many tongues and tribes
of this land we call country.
We easily misunderstand our differences and peculiarities
split hairs over on-shore/offshore dichotomy,
each tribe the other a potential thief
itself an innocent victim besieged by scoundrels.
All these we shall someday our unborn tell
with what ears will they our shamed voices hear?
“Failure of leadership our tragedy”.

Nigeria! Land of beauty and of comely maidens,
land blessed by God, cursed by man.
You stand simple and proud
giving life, form and hue
to savannah’s idyllic landscape
yet a complicated man-made confusion
a people that can’t decide who they’re.
Are you contemplating suicide
or turbulently managing Change?
May God save your sorry soul!

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