THE BLAME BEGINS WITH YOU 

I carry my country in my pocket

like a hurl of dead stones fresh and heavy as accusations.

Stones are states and citizens of states wailing

and blaming and blaming its falls on one Mr President. 

A fly drowns in oil, Bonny Light further crashes, 

her value drops like an old man’s jaws, blame Mr President;

Mr President this and this and that; and I become

 the people’s journalist documenting tomorrow

from yesterday, today being my belly-button bottling and 

un-bottling what you may not find in the papers: It was 

you and I acting Saul, slinging sharp stones and yelling

 burn him! kill him! die! at a ten-year-old, perhaps fourteen

for stealing something light as garri to murder hunger 

while our tables puke of excess and remnants; our dogs

 treated better, street beggars treated worse.

The same boy and boys we still chase away for begging & 

smelling like old tattered clothes that make us puke. And 

we watch his flesh smoke as testimonies into god’s nose, 

his blood licked dry by our fires of inhumanity… But who cares 

when there’s a Mr President to blame? for hunger and

 frustration written on faces like labels on staple food;

Blame him too for not saving Beatrice and co from 

our dirty religious hands; whose heads and stories we dissolved &

have forgotten in a hurry; whose throat we slit in god’s holy name 

for believing in certain son of God—a certain saviour of mankind;

Blame Mr President for fake or expired drugs in our hospitals

even a gospel artiste was not given a second chance to testify…

Blame him too for slaughtering sands of our thousands

at Kaduna or East of the Niger, while he was somewhere

 not here, resting his weary head from slings of 

endless accusations that sicken him. Blame Mr President 

for Naira-Dollar teeth over tongue; blame him too for tomato Ebola, 

for food scarcity; for price of garri almost doubling 

the farmer’s daughter’s bride price… For market women 

pegging even things tinier than tooth picks the price of making heaven…

Blame on, Mr Twitter Parliamentarian, Facebook Activist, blame on.

But remember, a lion is an ant in a pride of more than a million wolves

if the park is a collage of diverse claws and heartbeats

whose songs are a jam of solid complaints gaseous actions

whose ravening claws are bent on change but do not scratch it.

And my report becomes a nursery rhyme even kids would understand:

Who killed the mouse? Mr President

Who burnt your blouse? Mr President

Who levelled that house? Mr President

Who snatched your spouse? Mr President

Who broke his vows? Mr President

But who votes the president? Mr Citizen
So in the end the blame folds back into our mouths, we the people

should we not join hands to build a new nation motto-ed on love boundless as the skies, where 

a certain Adamu no longer murders Agu to settle Anu; 

where jobs are never again veto-ed on who knows who;

where thumbs on ballot papers is the nation’s rising heartbeat, 

not party gifts sequined by tribe or religion. 

Where we no longer blame Mr President 
for things liquid as keep Nigeria clean

because we are the majority, and together

 yes we can! & will

 make Nigeria great again

by 

Ehi Zogie 

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