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Nigeria’s God Of Darkness


The bond between Nigeria and Darkness

Only the drastic word can break.


One minute of flimsy flashes

Then, a thousand hours of lightless groping


Wingless fans mock our misery

From powerless ceilings

The aircon coughed into silence

Many unhappy seasons ago


Failing factories feed our hunger

Our laptops run on the heat

From our feverish groins.

With the rays of the kindly moon


We pen the nation’s epics

While libraries and laboratories suffocate

In the lampless anguish of our benighted Academies.

So wonderfully endowed, we count our blessings


Halfway through the surgical task

A medieval darkness engulfs the theatre

The surgeon’s scalpel veers beyond the veins

Close by, reeking mortuaries with their restless doors


At our ultramodern airports

Darkness taxes faster

Than the speed of light: blind landing gambles

Announce the welcome to our Blackout Country






NEPALAND.  Blackout Country.   Outage Hell.

Candles.   Lanterns.   Flashlights,

Ancient oil-lamps and their yellow peril:

The cock of our early lights has not begun to crow



Generator country and its deafening madnesses

Where the noise-bomb shakes marble mansions

To their golden bases; an ounce of light

Ten tons of detonating terror


Generators: diesel-driven, petrol-powered,

To every person their own silence-slayer

In a country where noise is the national anthem

In which tribe and tongue consistently differ


Everyone has their share of our national darkness

From the porter who sweats beneath the nation’s yoke

To the rich and ruthless whose private greed

Compounds the public need


Ruler after ruler, from multi-medaled Generals

To tall-capped undertakers of our democratic hoax

Have passed brave budgets to end the national shame

Budgets which never rise beyond their bottomless pockets



Grand Distributor of our national darkness

Our rulers grope and grab in patriotic frenzy

The people stumble and slip on their lightless trails.

NEPA: National Electric Power Authority; now re-named Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

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