- Post 26 July 2012
- Last Updated on 26 July 2012
- By Salisu Suleiman
I own enormous expanses of land and vast volumes of water, but cannot feed myself. So I fritter $10 billion to import rice, wheat, sugar and fish. I produce rice, but don’t eat it, cattle, but no milk and farmers, but no food. I am hungry, angry weary, please transform me.
I am the largest realm in the world with no railways. My planes are airborne caskets and my roads, craters to hell, so I lose family and friends everyday on roads for which resources have been ransacked, and sap the blood of my countrymen to clot the crevasses they crash into. I am in perpetual sadness and sorrow, please give me fresh air.
My schools have no teachers and my classrooms, no roofs. I have a million candidates clanging at university gates, though my ivory dungeons only take a tenth. I strain to hear my teachers through shattered apertures and subsist with a dozen others in a single space. My better professors have gone abroad and the rest, mere merchants. I am a university graduate, but illiterate, so live a bleak, blank life and fear a bland, bleary future, please transform me.
I have no power, yet chose to flare gas, so my people have learnt to see in the dark and stare at the glare of naked flares. My homes and offices choke on diesel fumes while my people cower in the cacophony of clanging generators. I have no mission, vision nor fission, please refresh me.
My president had no shoes and has vowed that our children too, will have none. So I have millions of people in penury and trillions in stolen money. My hospitals have no doctors, nurses, or medicines, so young mothers give birth in the dark to offspring already scarred by lack. I live with polio, typhoid and malaria, and gaze on, dazed, as future generations expire in their prime. I am hopeless, hapless and helpless, please transform me.
I craved to have my way, so cued up to have my say. But the chosen had no correlation with our choices and for daring to speak, tyranny was tethered by the men in black. So my leaders are my oppressors, and my policemen are my terrors. I am run by men in mufti, but not egalitarian. I have no verve, vote, nor voice, please refresh me.
I have 40 million countrymen with no jobs, no present and no future. My youths in the North have become terrorists and those in the South, kidnapers. Those who stay at home die of terror; those who flee abroad die of thirst in the Sahara and survivors drown in the Mediterranean. Future mothers strut shady clubs in the dead of night and the runaways crawl the cold cobbles of Rome and Amsterdam. I am harried and heartbroken, please transform me.
I have four refineries, but ran them aground. So I rang up a cabal that wrapped up trillions under the shroud of fuel subsidy and dared anyone to defy me. I cried to my legislators for equity, but they of the Hallowed Chambers hollowed out my trust and prostituted their posterities for pittance. I want lawmakers with feeling, not traders out for wheeling and dealing.
My judges are all for sale, but only members of Tribe of Thieves can pay their price. So justice is bought and sold in court chambers and under the tribe’s gold-decked umbrellas. I want a judiciary with a conscience and judges with souls, shame and sense, please transform me.
My factories reverberate with the echoes of inactivity, so my toothpick is made in China; toothpaste in South Africa; salt in Ghana; butter in Ireland; milk in Holland; shoe in Italy; oil in Malaysia; biscuit in Indonesia; chocolate in Switzerland and my bottled water flown from France. My taste is feigned, far-flung and foreign, please refresh me.
My land is vanishing because the Sahara and the Atlantic have sworn to converge; flooding kills my people yearly because drainages are clogged; my fish are dead because oil companies dump effluents in my rivers; my communities are disappearing into the huge yawns of gully erosion, and nothing is being done. My very being is in peril, and I am in the deepest depths of despondence, please transform me.
My leaders solely seek to plunder and pillage, so set kit and kin against each other. And while the carnage carries on, steal three billion every day to feign our safety. Meanwhile, my people jig to a macabre, frenzied orgy, spilling blameless blood and drenching my drains. I am reeling from reeking body parts and ruptured innards, my humanity dissipated, please refresh me.
My screams singe the silence of Space as I recall the shoeless fisherman’s promise of fresh air and transformation. Now with hopes prostrate, pummeled yet again by paroxysms of poverty, theft on epic scale and ineptitude unmatched, I perceive plainly, the folly of voting for clan and creed.
I am dying, please give me fresh air….