Nightmares Of Slumbering Africa - Poem by Chinedu Dike
Colonialism in its last moments
is pushed to the centre stage -
The recoiling phenomenon intensely illuminated
by The Flame Of Liberty.
Roused by the prospect of Emancipatory Freedom,
From the shadows of Servitude
Their demand for a dawn long on hold,
brings an end to the colonial yoke.
Her soul refreshed with breath of new life,
at the sight of the expanding horizons -
Euphoria that veiled 'Danger Signs'.
She's been bequeathed dreadful webs of intrigue:
of multicultural colonial territories,
hitherto upheld through coercive mechanisms.
With price tags of 'patriots' hanging on won Liberty,
they bicker over the vacated Seat Of Power.
In their snobbery of Honour in favour of Greed,
crucial realignments of comrades produce
The Strongman: A tyrant
backed by 'jackals'
and supported by gullible public.
In a cruel twist of fate
hopeful assertion of self-rule,
soon becomes the anticipation of a gaudy illusion.
The exit of Foreign Powers
has delivered the people
into the grasps of Democratic Mobs:
fueled by putrid sludge of Kleptocracy,
devoid of political visions to transform into realities.
With no intent of restructuring imposed alien models,
cabals pursue joint criminal enterprises:
Good citizens are sieved out of the system,
party loyalists take over their place.
Key positions go to ruthless operators,
who translate decisions into actions.
Vast network of political jobbers across tribes
Political parties become private estates;
Police remains agent of The State;
Legislative bodies are subdued;
With the Judiciary effectively hijacked,
the oppressed has no where to seek redress.
Ultimately The Liberators Turn Into Oppressors.
Haven subverted Power Of The People
which has raised them to unfair dominion;
In frenzied torrents of greed without care,
In a matter of months
raging economic crises follow.
Attempts to curb budget deficits upset lives,
sending already violated citizenry
on a sad voyage into poverty.
In their scheme for hegemony,
with membership of the ruling party,
are made prerequisites
for political and economic ascendancy.
Their capitalist tendency reinvents imperialism.
With nepotism and sectionalism proclivity,
parochial appointments skewed towards
specific groups are made.
Ethnic rivalry is promoted as one tribe
is favoured above the others.
Serious conflicts are provoked
with diverse interest groups.
The Freedom Party once the pride of the nation
has turned public enemy number one.
With the powder keg too close to the naked flames,
And the fire burns with a vengeance.
Turmoils of Democratic Anarchy usher in The Military:
Demagogues with perfect sets of iron teeth -
Whose stern miens wore the semblance of an undertaker.
They bait on sentiments of the masses to legitimize regime;
They promise to steer The Ship Of State
to berth on a safe harbour;
They pay lip service to their anti-corruption crusade.
They're the raiders of public treasuries!
They're the violators of Integrity Of The State!
They're the embodiments of rot!
Strategic alliance is built with oligarchs of crafty pretense.
The marriage of convenience symbiotic in its nature -
'You Rub My Back I'll Rub Yours.'
The wooed spiders
with keen knowledge of the web
assume the oversight of junta -
reinforcing its hold on power.
Their administrative tasks keep
the wheels of government-owned enterprises turning,
thereby maintaining brazen squandering of resources.
In the quest for total control,
with the delusions that match their effronteries,
They unleash an assemblage of horrors:
Prison cells are packed with innocent citizens
picked on the flimsiest of excuses;
Rendition of dissidents tagged 'terrorists' becomes normal.
Curfews are enforced;
Checkpoints are mounted;
Visible policing is achieved;
With free speech punished,
displeasures are carefully altered in whispers;
And brutality is sold
as pragmatic response to increased crime.
The cowardly populace
petrified in its sullen expression,
in degrading submission blindly accepts Slavery.
Assets of nations are then plundered with impunity;
are laundered to different offshore heavens;
patrimonies are secretly being transferred abroad
and governments turn around to ask for loans
on the very funds illicitly moved.
is a continent marred with endemic conflicts;
Human Rights abuses of monumental proportions;
Shameful history of nationalized thefts;
Quests for Power at all costs -
with Heads Of States holding on to Power
even when circumstances dictate otherwise.
Africa has continued to drop every hurdle
in its political and economic race.
But she ought to be thriving well!
She has an unrivaled wild life
conducive to tourism;
with endless stretches of fertile lands;
Rare incidences of natural disasters;
Resilient hardworking population;
Her prospects for hydroelectric supply
is second to none.
She is blessed
with uranium, iron ore, crude oil, and natural gas;
diamond, gold, silver, chromium, zinc, copper,
tin, platinum, bauxite, limestone et cetera -
All in commercial quantities.
No Other Continent Is Endowed With As Much.
notoriously Africa with such fortunes and potentials,
relentlessly wallows in the throes of economic woes.
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