Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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POEM: Really, Nigeria Is Independent?
By Emeka Chiakwelu


Arbitrary winking as set free in 1960
Given a flag to hoist without metaphor
Given a national anthem to sing without clarity
Given a pledge of allegiance to recite without thought
Given a foreign language to speak, dream, cogitate
Hinged in freedom symbols devoid of significance
While fisted chains of bondage speaks volume, rattling
For the eye to see, ears to hear


Where is your identity?
Paraphernalia, accessories of country does not make a nation
Nation is organic with soul and blood
But are you capable of nuanced thoughts?
Too complicated for a simpleton to comprehend



What do you know about Independent?
What do you know about freedom?
Shallow in thought, dim in vision
For you do not know how to be free
You accepted the name they gave you
For they called you Nigeria
Have you ever ask yourself
What does Nigeria means and where did it come from?
Like an obedient servant you nodded



But who are you?
A sunset in the west
Or a rising star in the east
Morning dew in dry season
Or a shivering rain in wet season
Like a light you arose from a forest
But like a meandering wind you disappeared in the moistly sun



The given flag raps Green White Green
They said green is for agriculture
Yet not enough food to feed teeming population
Where abundance of fertile land begs for crops
Yet hunger reigns in the land
They said white stands for peace
Yet mesmerized by endless war
Where is the peace? Yes peace Vaporizing
They gave you arms to kill your brothers and sisters
Starving children to death with acrimony
Rejoicing on starvation policy as weapon of war
There is war in North
There is war in the south
There is no peace in the land
When will white become peaceful?


You are an African
You are the blackest of Black
Where is Black in your flag?
Where is Africa in your Flag?


You were enslaved
You were colonized
Where is your history on the flag?
Where is slavery in the flag?
Where is colonialism in the flag?


Where is your history?
It is not in your textbooks?
It is not in your constitution?
You have no history? You tell us
You do not teach your children history
Yes, your history?
Then who are you?
Then where did you come from?
Then where are you going?


You have a great history
You came from the historical Nok culture
You came from great Igbo- ukwu
You came from great Oyo
You came from great Benin kingdom



Speaking cold foreign tongue in the heart of tropics
What happen to your mouthful spicy languages?
They said your native language is primitive, outdated
That is not universal and intelligent
Like a drowsy elephant you accepted



Look at how you name your children
With a foreign name you labeled them
When you were sick? Where did you go? To a foreign land
Where did you children go to school? In a foreign land
Where did you go on vacation? Of course in a foreign land
Even your money currency is not good enough?
Currency printed in foreign land, rejected in the native land



They lie to you
But you chose to believe the lie
For you bury your head in sand
No, you are not free
No, you are not independent
The scalding bundle of wind
Sweltering heat of deception
Exposed in the nakedness of daylight
Dawn has manifested, darkness not ceased
Tell truth without mince
Bitter veracity, yet it impels reality
Yes, you are shackled, still a colony?

 

Copyrighted EChiakwelu

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We were all Jews  By Emeka Chiakwelu


The surpassing mind of thought bowering our collective history
There goes again reminiscing on the yester years of anguish
We did not chose the history of oppression, it landed on our backs
But somehow, someway it became our history
A hell of years to recollect, remember, cogitate
Setting aside of blues dropped, situated in winter air
Drowned by darkness, fabricated by a treacherous mind




What a wicked mind?  Worse than a wicked mind wangling at night
A humiliation came from a diabolical mind, hatched in a stone bowl
While they sleep at morning, deadly night of destruction comes
Muted breath that hatred was a forerunner 
Pointing fingers, wagging at spotless dew
Why the hate? Why the hatred?
Eye popping like a burning fire
Accusing the innocence of gutless tact



Why did you hate?
Blaming the situation on being seasonal
Seasonality of hate in question
But hate in autumn
Hate in winter as the cold wind of night crisscrossed
The hate even persisted in spring when lovely crispy leaves beckon joy 
Even in the effervesce summer, hate never dries up
In the morning hate
In the Afternoon, hate comes again
So definitely at night hate stays 
Hate no more, cultural permeation 
It sounds a tedious pledge that never blossom
You generation of darts never ceases
History bears the devastating testament


The hate in Egypt where slave labor flourished
The stones gathered with withered hand, bleeding nails
Foot swollen with cover while trekking never stopped
Oh eyes that see the oppression, how do you sleep
Eyes could not close without evolving vision of humiliation
Oh little mind, while the perpetual contraction
Let rest in peace, never assented


In the Prussia oven were used… holocaust was hatched
Millions, more millions, many millions perished
Darkness prevailed in the landscape
While In London eviction, the London Bridge fell
Why the hatred….none dissevered mal treatment
Continuous staggering thought persisted
slippery path to be littered, the rapacious thought of dehumanization
We searching freedom in north, south, west and east
Let it be, for freedom belongs to free mind



Living amiss of freedom on the desert plain
Daughters of Jerusalem sing songs of freedom
How long can you live without freedom
Oh freedom rain from east\Oh freedom rain from West
Freedom where the keys to unlock liberty


At the glimpse of the opening door, here comes light
Light of freedom
Light of liberty
Yes, finally freedom came
In the soil of the ancient promise land freedom dwells
In the mirage of dusty wind freedom was lost
Devastating thought to recollect
Deep melancholy protruding endless thought



“Was Saul also among the prophets?”
Millions of Igbo perished in the rainforest
Fell in the battle, on the genocidal Biafra war
Blood soaked and poured on the hamlets soil
While children starved to death, 
As starvation became a weapon of war 
As the world kept quite like the days of Black hundred



For “the beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty,.”


Yes he was a Jew
No she not a Jew
But so what, so what’s the difference?
Then who is a Jew?
We were all Jews.

Third Force Forum (3FF)-The Coalition of Former Presidential Candidates and Aspirants in Nigeria -  have issued a below Press Release that asked  Southerners in Muhammadu Buhari’s Cabinet to Resign.

Adversity Introduces a Nation to Itself


It is with profound sadness that we the undersigned, former Presidential Candidates and Aspirants, under the auspices of the “Third Force Forum”, arose from an emergency meeting, in the week ending April 10, 2020, to address the below matters to all Nigerians:

Pursuant to the federal government’s lopsided distribution of COVID-19 palliative “Cash Transfers” across Nigeria, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, with a distribution formula of 83% to Northern Nigeria (NE, NW, NC), and 17% to Southern Nigeria (SW, SE, SS), as reported by the “International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)”, we hereby ask that cabinet members from the Southern states, serving in the current Cabinet resign honorably, or immediately disassociate themselves from the incumbent government; or on the contrary clearly admit complicity, with a policy that betrays massive inequity to Southern Nigeria.

We make this statement not because we are against our ordinary Northern brothers and sisters.  We are aware that the North has in the past also produced fair-minded patriots, including General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; rather, we make this statement with a sober, but bold assessment of the inclinations of this current Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).



Equal Productivity Should Provide for Equal Benefits


It is note-worthy that today, over 80% of both resource and tax-based revenues in Nigeria, are generated from the South, while over 80% of all sensitive political appointments are held by people from the Northwest & Northeast, thereby depriving the entire South the necessary input into critical policy decisions.

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial arms of government, as well as the entire security apparatus, from the military, to customs, to maritime, and to the management of the State oil company (NNPC), have all been engineered into one corner, and are controlled by only persons from the North, to the detriment of a broad, diverse and inclusive policy framework.

The recent COVID-19 palliative formula response is proof-positive, and it essentially shows that the government has brazenly portrayed, that even under this adversity, that one half of Nigeria essentially works for, or is totally subjugated to the other half of Nigeria, even in the midst of a severe public health adversity.



He Who Holds a Man Down Stays Down 

Many aspiring leaders of Nigeria, including many in this forum of recent presidential hopefuls, have given the current administration a fair-shake, and a benefit of the doubt, since 2015.  Some even supported President Buhari in his initial quest for the presidency.  However, what we will not do is to stay silent in the midst of profound and obvious governmental discrimination.

This current government under President Buhari cannot hold one region down, so that another region may arise, because “he who holds a man down stays down”. Therefore, the net effect of policies like these is that all of us will stay down, because one cannot rob Peter to pay Paul.

Show Us That an Elected President is In Charge
We will not excuse this matter on the grounds that perhaps, President Buhari is not aware of the formula for the distribution of the COVID-19 Cash Transfer scheme.  For some time now, Nigerians have shared innuendoes that the kitchen cabinet of Aso Rock comprises of 3, or 4, or 5 “Unelected Officials”; and these people decide what happens in the entire country.

Therefore, with all due respects to the current government, let the record reflect that the 3, or, 4, or 5 persons that Nigerians believe make and execute policy, were not elected by the Nigerian people.  President Muhammadu Buhari is the elected official that we hold accountable, and the buck stops with the President.
Again, we do not hold grudges against our brothers and sisters that reside in the northern part of this Republic, however, as the great Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King once opined, “it is not where people stand in moments of comfort that matter, rather it is where people stand in times of controversy and strife”.

Therefore, as future leaders of Nigeria, we have chosen to stand with all the people of Nigeria, including the North and the South, to ask that the “Cash Transfer” palliative for COVID-19, a Public Health adversity, be properly distributed to affected states across the entire country, including in the current epicenter of Lagos, and not just as a freebie across Northern Nigeria.  On the contrary, let the cabinet members from the South resign immediately, to show that they are not complicit in this misguided matter.

Transferring all the resources accruing from one region of the country, to another region, will not make the transferee wealthy; rather, it will only make the transferee more dependent.
In conclusion, we hereby call for Southern members of the cabinet to resign, as a protest to the prevailing inequity and injustice.
We wash our hands off any calamity that may befall Nigeria, due to a callous disregard for equity and injustice, in the distribution of the common-wealth of this country, from one region to another region.  The government should also seize this opportunity to address another looming injustice, in the form of the exclusion of Southeastern Nigeria from the proposed World Bank loan, which is being negotiated for parliamentary approval in Nigeria at this time.



Final Notable Points:

There is poverty in every corner of Nigeria, from Sokoto to Anambra; from Akwa Ibom to Bornu; from Lagos to Kano; and from Rivers to Bauchi.  Any pretension that poverty does not exist all across Nigeria is to pander to mischief.  The COVID-19 “Cash Transfer” must be distributed equitably to other regions.

Productivity breeds wealth, it is the responsibility of the 19 Northern Governors to pursue models of society empowerment, whether from Southern Nigeria or elsewhere.  This is not the time to transfer the productive resource of one region to another.  Effecting majority of this cash transfer to Northern Nigeria alone, at the expense of other states, will breed animosity that will be extremely difficult to overcome in the future. The private donors who contributed to the FG COVID-19 Fund did not mean for these funds to be distributed to the North alone, if they did, they would have stated it clearly during their donation.


Signed:
Hon. Okey Samuel Mbonu
Dr. O. Favour Ayodele
Hon. Clement Jimbo
Hon. Evelyn Okere
On behalf of the Third Force Forum       Contact: Charles Adeyinka Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem – What is Africa…. Shithole?
By Emeka Chiakwelu


Ancient landscape of body, mind and spirit
Noble Humanity of innovation, experience and action
Were you not there in the genesis ?
Relegated as the edged narrative in bondage



Destruction of mind was deadlier than body
Demolition odour of toxic hydrogen sulfide
odour of defeat , smell of capitulation
ever tired of sleeping in the middle of the day



suerly! called Africa plenty names
jungle
lazy
nigger
now called shithole



sadly you know me not
those adjectives represent me not
compilation of thoughts shift actions
words and actions are related
but actions and words are not same




hands are there to do the works
feet were drained by cottons of the fields
enslavement was from man not from Providence



Africa hands are free from chains of yesterday
legacy of yesterday resisted
freedom lies in your hands
mind refused to grasp



mother of the earth violated
spring water of umuoji polluted
the wealth of Africa harvested and siphoned
gold, diamomnd, silver taken away
Africa is living on will power
Surviving on the metaphysical strength



for how long will misery persist
children photographed with flies on their faces
where did the flies come from?
can anybody explain the source of misery



free but enslaved with names and calamity
the voices of children cried at midnight
where is mother and father ?
Protruding with misery in their eyes
Africa arise and take your stars in your crisp hands



But who is Africa?
I am Mandela
I am Azikiwe
I am Shaka Zulu
I am Aminu
I am Nkrumah
I am Kenyatta


Yes my name is Soyinka

Achebe that’s my name

my namee is Obote

my name is Dim Ojikwu

my name is Fela

my name is Adichie





I am….
not Tarzanic landscape
not dark continent
not noble savage
And history knows I am not shithole!



Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning, including Oxford University and Harvard Education. www.afripol.org, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Ikemefuna    By Emeka Chiakwelu

(A sacrificial lad in Things Fall Apart)


Image result for things fall apart



Moisten forest mesmerized by repugnant darkness
Thoughts wandering from dawn to sunset
From where will the darkness emerged
For in the mind of the hero lies cowardice and malice
But you said he was fearless, a crusader hero
The hour pillage with darkness arrives
Time has come for action to cogitate 
Profound thinking  for the cowards
Who told you so, you simpleton
Without thinking, how can meaningful action speaks


You cannot obliterate a destine event
The hour has come
Where is Ikemefuna  - a lad of innocence?
Clothed with guilt and revenge
Where are the arrows ?
And where are the swords ?
We came to make peace to the land
We came not desolate the land
The land is not asking for sacrifice
The land is asking for tradition to prevail
Those customs were obsolete and unforgiving
We came with a fig of olive branch

Therefore let the lad  go in peace

Here comes Okonkwo the son of the soil
Dripping with culture and customs
A celebrated hero with shallow mind
Arrow in one hand and a sword in another
Okonkwo did you come for war?



Waging a war against your own son?
Take the olive leaf and spare the life of the lad
But they said you a coward
Masquerading as a hero in untamed mind



Obscurity comes out from your eyes
Darkness flow out from your guts
Gushing darkness hidden in the pale mind
Wicked thought lost in vociferous tradition
Only the pained face that repelled cowardice
Ikemefuna a dutiful son not sacrificial object

@CopyrightEmeka Chiakwelu