@UcheOkorie: Lamentations for Nigeria at 54 (Y! FrontPage)

by Uche Okorie

The analysis of why Nigeria at 54 is yet to attain anywhere near its full potentials, is not just a story of the circumstances of colonization, greed of the political class or oil. It goes way beyond that. To this end, this poem is just what it is-an attempt to highlight some reasons why in my opinion, the country is still in a bind, fifty-four years after independence.

In this dying bed, I will have you know that I was not always this wretched and gaunt.

I was not always mocked and ridiculed by many.

I was not always so inept at managing my affairs.

I know you don’t believe it as you stare at me now.

At 54, I have aged a hundred years.

I am incontinent, old and wrinkled.

I am stuck in a mental rut, bloated at the top, wobbly at the feet, feeble in the spirit and grapple daily with decayed and betraying parts.

But I was not always this pathetic.

I once had a future brighter than a constellation of comets.

I was once the pride of the black race.

I was once a great beauty to behold.

Never mind that in my modern infancy some parts of me were flung in shackles on a shipping cage down to the far reaches of the earth.

Never mind that the gods of my mothers were broken to smithereens and I embraced other faiths.

I was filled with so much vigour at the dawn of my independence.

Looking at my wrinkled face, saggy tits and bow legs who would think I was once feted and courted by many in the world?

Who would think I was once an ebony princess with long legs and dainty feet; a rotund waist rich with untapped resources protruding with pride?

Yet indeed I was. Many parts of me unrivalled in splendour across the seven continents and more.

In my northernmost parts, this dense head you see now was once gorgeous with a Sahel pyramid of groundnut braids cascading down rich cowries over my supple body down to the outermost reaches of my southern parts.

In the Middle belt region of me, many a cash crop sprouted in blooming splendour all over my fertile self.

In the Southern parts, my healthy farts filled the air with the profitable smell of cocoa.

My facial hairs and oblong face had deep dimples harbouring pristine ferrous metals of the highest grades.

I had huge sensual eager eyes that saw far beyond my years. One bat of it and suitors would tumble over from a pale skinned continent in droves.

My dainty ears were sensitive to sound and could hear the slightest murmur in any of my parts.

My beautiful teeth clear as day brought forth laughter full of mirth.

My bridled tongue sang a thousand praise, and my spittle flowed in loyal torrents.

My heart was tender, caring and giving my all to all

My gait was full of promise and self-confidence.

My diverse parts worked in harmony as I bloomed in social, physical, psychological, political, economic and spiritual health.

Then came 1958. Some rough insistent probes of my moist privates by restless fingers aided by pale strangers. A gushy flow of oily milk and honey erupts. Oh! What cruel death to innocence.

My oily insides revealed the key to stupendous wealth with scarcely a sweat and years later the accursed oil corroded the strings that held the coral beads of the harmony of my parts.

As the oil flowed my insides rebelled with greed, ears became deaf and eyes blind.

My heart became cold and unfeeling. My fingers probed deeper assaulting my oily dignity with reckless abandon.

My northernmost reaches laid siege to the centre, ignoring the enduring wealth of its agriculture.

My southernmost parts sought control of what it termed ‘its’ resources. No longer was the sum part of the whole, the sum became the sum of the sum.

A cackle of gangrened phalanges adorned in military fatigues and oversized ‘Agbadas’ took turns and still do to pluck unscrupulously at the innermost reaches of my treasure mound, violating and bruising me.

My bosom full of oily milk meant to nurture all was allocated with unholy gusto to a few who venomously sucks and still suck it to sagging stupor.

My treacherous tongue twisted and now spews forth the propaganda garbage moans of Any Government In Power.

My legs once long and elegant loving the ground it trod, now wants to flee at the slightest chance to places it never would have dreamt of going.

While my parts all struggle to hold the reins of my brain so that they can control my oily mush with greedy glee, my once famed groundnut braids are in tatters and my cocoa scented farts, a distant fading echo of yester years.

As I lay on this bed comatose from the incessant lootings of my treasures, dying in painful instalments, my violated posterior intermittently emits a putrid fart that smells like the maggot infested carcass of a dead rat who lived in an excreta filled gutter all its life and drowned in a full cesspit, only to resurrect run about in a pit latrine and die again in the most stagnant end of a filthy Lagos canal; it’s sickening decadence a fetid testament to the tragedy of my situation.


Uche Okorie can be reached on twitter on @uchekorie

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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