Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yar'Adua and the ghost of Biafra

Ogaga Ifowodo is one of the few Nigerian poets I admire so much. His poems about the Niger Delta read like prayers to a silent God, but also supplications to his fellow Nigerians to please not elbow his people to extinction. For those who have been following the saga of the Nigerian president, who has been sick in Saudi Arabia for more than 56 days now, Ogaga's recent essay is more than a prayer. It is a dire warning. He combines the prophetic sensibility of a poet and the sharpness of a lawyer to plead on fellow Nigerians to wake up to the call of time. Here's an excerpt:

"Yar'Adua's determination, even "at this stage," to spit on the constitution reeks of the divine right to governance that the Northern power oligarchy has publicly boasted. No less an oligarch than Alhaji Yussuf Maitama Sule articulated God's allocation of national talent thus: to the Hausa-Fulani, leadership; to the Yoruba, diplomatic skills; and to the Igbo - of course, commerce! As for the minorities? Well, they do not exist, not even those from under whose feet the oil is drawn that made it possible for Maitama Sule to gain the prominence and perch for his gratuitous insult. And if they do not exist, how can you hand over power to one of them, to a "ghost?"
ENJOY and Pray for my beloved country.

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