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Emmanuel A. Olofin


Kano, Kano, Nigeria

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Echoes From a Student Ghost


Emmanuel A. Olofin

That day was so bright,
But in trouble was the heart.
I was enraged!
Everything beyond the reach,
Even education!

Took me my placard, a banner,
On which my yearnings inner.
March me with others,
Proclaiming grievances ours;
For our nation.

But for our nationalism
There was a hunting chase;
For our patriotic cries,
A denial of rights,
To expression!

I ran, how I ran!
Like a rabbit frightened;
Some hunting dogs entrain,
Into gutters and drains,
Foul depression!

They came with gas and bullets,
My eyes were shut and blinded,
My nostrils some watery mess;
Killing pains deep in my chest,
Deadly insertion!

For the sticks and stones I threw,
An' the rods they claim I wield,
For some jam in chaotic traffic,
An' refusal to dialogue illogic -

I lay long abandoned there,
As they raped my losing lover;
More gas and bullets flew,
Wailing an' gnashing of teeth,
Real commotion!

Then they say I died,
But my spirit watches still.
I gagged the law, they say,
For which be gagged for aye
So I died for this now,
And yet live me on,
To haunt the hunting cop,
Even the nation!

Lamentation of a Patriot


Emmanuel A. Olofin

Nigeria, can we obey your call,
When 'tis wrong to be born
In this or that other part?
Which compatriots will rise:
The lowly Nigerian "strangers",
Or the expatriate "friends"?
How do I serve with faith,
Where I am unwanted?
An expression geographical,
You were, at least, in the past.
But now? Only a tag,
Not in the heart, nor the land.
Deceit impregnates your womb,
To beget hosts of prodigal sons.
Nigeria, where are your heroes,
The brave and the patriot?
None now to be seen,
Any in the past forgotten.
Only gods with labour vain:
Neither heart, soul nor strength,
Perverted brawn with little brain,
Any such brain down the drain.
Very few will obey your call,
Fewer still to rise at all.
Nigeria, where is your freedom,
The peace, love and unity?
Your child cannot be educated,
Nor be given a decent board;
For reasons of faith and state.
To close some self-made gaps,
Discrimination through the quota;
We must trim other Nigerians,
And our wards unjustly fatten.
These others are but aliens,
No room at all for their children.
Nigeria, your labour seems in vain!
See, on the ruling strain,
Law-makers on circus show
Executive team in similar role,
Making nothing of your daily toil;
Your rich sons reject your soil,
After decimating your vaults.
Lots of loots stacked abroad.
To run and ruin anew,
A second round of servitude;
A nation on never ending trial -
The flop of weeping Africa!