FREEDOM

Dawn has broken,

with the eerie cries of vultures

still feeding on rotten carrion

even when they are free from the traps

of hunters and pests.

The claws of the vulture are weak,

the head bare naked

but it is the largest  

known for its constancy in the day.

When other birds feed on unfortunate preys,

the vulture chose the stinking bugs

leaving this hereditary to its offsprings

for generations to come.

It is fifty seven years now,

since I have been on the keen watch

upon this mysterious bird

and it comes to my mind,

what is freedom ?

Is freedom the ability to harness the wings

to be airborne from West to East,

East to North ?

But why is there stagnancy in freedom ?

Why does freedom seems like bondage ?

The claws of the vulture was weak,

it couldn’t dig the hearts of her exploiters

even when they ported her from her nest

to the point of no return ?

But whose fault was it 

if not that of the

ignorant leader who got enticed

by a polished surface that forms image by light reflections ?

The kingdom was near to extinction,

slavery. that was it.

and then they wanted freedom,

in this bid,

they chose the demonstration of craziness 

as democracy.

But 

no freedom was gained without sacrifices.

blood spills. will. atonements. 

and a land was retrieved, 

free from the shackles of colonialism.

And three years after,

this land became a republic

and the powers rested in the people.

the leader was an offspring of popular choices 

but

why are our choices always severing these wounds ?

Why have our choices refused to set us free

from an organised slavery ?

Why is the vulture afraid to fly

despite its gigantic wings ?
Is it the phobia of

the bullets that riddles bodies

of fellow comrades in the house

where God was supposed to live ?

Is it the phobia of

hymens that were forcefully broken

after they were hijacked overnight

from Chibok ?

Is it the phobia of

tropical constrictors

with vestigial hind limbs

that chose to dance in an open market ?

Is it the phobia of

fellow comrades being washed off in bomb blasts

and explosions ?

Is it the phobia of 

dilapidated buildings that are now

basements for commerce of skulls and eyes ?

Even albinos can’t walk freely

on a land supposedly blessed with freedom !

Or is it much more terrible

than phobia itself ?

Every one dips in the pot

but no one replenishes.

Our land is now painted with poverty,

diseases have took a refuge here.

Our land,

the castle for scores of deaths

while

unemployment eats deeper into grades,

certificates are now celebrated 

than ingenuity.

_Eni to mo way lo mo iwe_,

is the slogan of the lecturers. 

Our girls were once cats,

their backs never to touch the ground

but now –

they are chameleons,

communing with every environ

they find themselves

even in the bedroom of her lecturer.

Prostitution is now the solution

to school tuitions,

cultism is now the resort

for our boys.

Prejudice. Vices. Manipulation.

Yet we cry freedom.
Change,

they say begins at the individual level.

The grassroot is weakened,

yet we focus on the misty heaven.

How do we repair a land

now infested with pests of varying colors

where justice is now jaundiced

and truth is for the horse ?

Freedom can be true

when there is love,

freedom can be true 

when there is unity,

freedom can be true

when there is fair play, 

freedom can be true

when the man sanitizing the roads

runs home

to check his chambers,

freedom can be true

when skeletons are left for the laboratory

and not the cupboards.

We are fifty seven in slavery,

we are fifty seven in bondage,

we are fifty seven in shackles. 

Freedom is not complete

when a bomb blast comes from Boko Haram,

freedom is not complete

when Ozubulu is a mass tragedy,

freedom is not complete

when the python still dance,

freedom is not complete

when Biafra seeks breakup,

freedom is not complete

when Arewa orders the sons of Okoro

out of her soil,

freedom is not complete

when Oduduwa is not comrades

with Abubakr,

freedom is not complete

when the voices of the common men

are shallow 

and that of the favored men,

elated,

freedom is not Nigeria.

I am still here,

awaiting when the vulture fly again, 

only then can freedom resurrect

just like Jesus did.

The day we realise the weight of our pledge,

only then shall we know freedom.
I pledge to Nigeria my country

To be faithful, loyal, and honest

To serve Nigeria with all my strength

To defend her unity

And uphold her honour and glory

So help me God !

Amen ?
By

BALOGUN YUSUF GEMINI

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