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Nigeria’s God Of Darkness

NIGERIA’S   GOD  OF   DARKNESS

The bond between Nigeria and Darkness

Only the drastic word can break.

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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

 

 

II

 

 

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

 

NEPALAND   NEPALAND   LEPERLAND

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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