Fix The Politics

By Dike Chukwumerije

A broken road does not understand Igbo

It will not maim the Fulani and let the rest of us go

The accidents it will cause will take all lives

For when a vehicle somersaults it breaks all bones

So, you can speak Nupe till morning comes

It will not build libraries in our public schools

And when a woman, a young woman, lies dying in childbirth

Your fluency in Ijaw will not save her life

For Christian or Muslim, it makes no difference

When you’re being driven around in an ambulance

From hospital to hospital in search of oxygen

Northerner or Southerner, you will die suffocating

You will die of causes easily preventable

Like no fuel for police to respond to your distress call

No water, no light, no nurses, no jobs

Nothing kills as efficiently as bad governance

As Politicians in Office who do not pay salaries

Whose response to bad roads is bigger SUVs

Who set up committees, and publish white papers

Presiding over affairs that never improve

Politicians in Jeeps, with minds in London

Perpetual latecomers to every meeting

Irritated by anyone with a different opinion

Who see ‘The People’ as a throne to sit on

Politicians in Power, who personalize the State

Who criminalize criticism, and terrorize dissent

Nothing in society kills as efficiently

As a Politician in High Office with low mentality

For you see? Boko Haram will burn down a classroom

But a Politician can swallow the entire school system

Can fold our Power Stations and put in his briefcase

Can roll up the Railways and keep in her house

Politicians can file our sea ports away in a drawer

Can cripple all our farms with no fertilizer

No matter the passion you bring to your start-up

Government can kill it with just one pronouncement

And no degree you hold, no grammar you speak

No decision you make to just face your work

No protest you stage can save you from those

Elected to make and enforce our laws

The way they see things is a wall around you

For you cannot drive faster than the person driving you

No matter your wealth, education or achievement

You are subject to the mentality of those in Government

Politicians in Office hold the yam and the knife

For to elect is to give the elected power over life

Which child will remain almajiri or become someone better?

These things are in the hands of the people in Power

Politicians in Office hold the farm and the seed

For to elect is to give the elected the power to decide

Whether Security operatives can murder citizens and walk away free?

These things are in the hands of those who run the country

So, if you are tired of it all, then strike at its roots…

If you are tired of needing a letter from a Senator to get a job

If you are tired of seeing your hustle frustrated by public policies

If you are tired of insecurity, then fix the politics

If you’re tired of the hunger, the anger, in our streets

If you’re tired of the number of children who die before age 5

If you’re tired of the dreams suffocated in our youths

If you are tired of this shame, then fix the politics

For until they are there in Public Office

Men and women with a heart for public service

No tribe, no tongue – just a commitment to build

A functional nation that fills us all with pride

Until they are there in the highest Office

Men and women with a heart for selfless service

No region, no religion – just commitment to Nation…

Until we elect them, we labour in vain.

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