Treasure Island

James Ogunjimi

(Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria)

What Does A Nigerian Life Cost?


What, i ask is the cost of a Nigerian life?

Give ear to my words, o rulers,
Turn not thy ears away thou that art in power.
Listen and I will ask thee, and let's see if thou canst answer;
What does a Nigerian life cost?

On a daily basis do diseases send men to their grave,
3000 people we are told perish of hunger day to day.
Yet unconcerned are the rulers who loot the money,
Even when the families are thrown into mourning.
The money for the hospitals and the drugs have they squandered,
And I can't but wonder,
What does a Nigerian life cost?

The roads have ceased to be pliable,
Death traps are what are now available.
100 people we are told die daily of road accidents,
Yet, the money for road construction has been spent.
Families wail and relatives gnash their teeth,
From the despair of their hearts they ask,
What does a Nigerian life cost?

Day by day, we see wastage of lives,
Death on the streets,
Death in the air,
And even death now reigns supreme in our sacred places of worship.
And yet, no one seems to care,
Wasted lives to God are crying,
What does a Nigerian Life cost?

What does a Nigerian life cost?
20 cenaris? 1 million naira?
Or has it no value at all?

What, i pray thee does a Nigerian life cost?

Submitted: Monday, February 10, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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