Tomiwa Ariran June 25, 2015
Credit: Ayeola Ayodeji

Nigerian Unity

Credit: Ayeola Ayodeji

The amount of debris the flood of these elections left behind,

Leaves me wondering what exactly a nation is about.

How so suddenly our cultural diversities became obvious,

Each man desperately pleaded a divide.

Friends shoved friends aside,

Wife stabbed husband to death,

Banquet tables turned quickly to slaughter slabs,

Every man his point to prove.

“Any opinion outside ‘ours’ is unreasonable,” they said,

Even using Biblical quotes to justify their savage cries.

“Be ye transformed; Be ye changed,

Under our umbrella you should hide,

While we sweep the rot away.”

Forgetting that some who once held up brooms,

Now proudly flaunt umbrellas.

Some left the cozy shade of the same umbrellas,

For the pleasure of clean sweeping.

Some, even at a point,

Were stars aiming for the skies,

And others once held proudly,

The sumptuous golden corn cob.

Here we are in the aftermath,

Still licking our wounds like stray dogs.

 Are we really, truly satisfied?

I think about three best friends,

One NI, the other GE, the last RIA,

One from far South, another far North, and the third just mixed,

Three whose political diversities created a storm,

And destroyed every memory they ever built.

Now you call your western friend a “betrayer,”

The eastern a “blood sucker,”

The northern “illiterate,”

 Even when you share a common viewpoint.

We quickly claim their lands belong to no one,

Simply for our selfish justifications,

Forgetting the bridges we crossed,

Just to have a taste of our dreams,

Forgetting how hard we struggled,

Just to leave marks on that land.

How quickly we fall back to the dust,

If there is a divide!

We forget that the Hausa Man didn’t ask what tribe we were,

Before deciding to mend our shoes,

The Yoruba man didn’t ask what part of Nigeria we are from,

Before letting us in to his “Danfo,”

The Igbo Man didn’t demand tribal names that sounded like his,

Before selling his DVD player to us.

When will we finally realize,

That coexistence is the key to existence,

That the lion cub won’t last without a pride,

That the united formation of the flamingos,

Is what makes them fly longer and further.

When will we realize that Nigeria cannot exist without the “RIA,”

That there is a Cross- Riverian child out there,

Whose first language is Hausa because that’s the Nigeria he knows,

An Mbaise woman with impeccable Ilorin dialect,

You could bet your life she’s an indigene,

 We very quickly forget,

That the Hausa man’s groundnuts color up our ijebu garri,

The Edo woman’s oil is what we hunt,

To cook our delicious isi-ewu,

The Bayelsa man’s oil,

Is what fuels our luxury rides,

The amount of debris the flood of these elections left behind

Leaves me wondering what exactly a nation is about.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: March 25, 2016


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