Liberty: a Poem for Nigeria

Today, October 1st, 2016, is Nigeria’s 56th independence celebration. In the spirit of celebration, and in the hope of a better tomorrow, I have penned the following words, because I believe. I believe that Nigeria will not be a failed dream or a failed state – it will come through for us, and we all will make it happen together. I look forward to that day, when all Nigerians will have a reason to believe in the nation, and will gladly sacrifice their lives for the dream called Nigeria, as some have done, and a few are still doing.

Happy Independence Day, fellow Nigerians! I hope you enjoy this piece. Cheers!

 

Liberty

 

I heard Liberty rise like a song

From the quiet street corners in Ibadan.

 

It was echoed as the song of Liberation

On the busy highways of Port-Harcourt.

This song resounded across our nation.

 

It was heard by the streams of Kainji Lake,

Travelled like a bushfire across the Middle Belt,

Engulfing the modern, tasteful mansions of Abuja,

Which like the burning bush, were unconsumed.

 

Its heat was felt in the villages around Yola,

As it blew like a wind across the arid north.

 

From Lagos to Calabar,

Liberty was a song and an anthem

Promising a better tomorrow for the pain of yesterday.

 

From Maiduguri to Birnin Kebbi,

Liberty was a fire and a whirlwind

Whistling in the ears of the poor and oppressed.

 

It was a call for emancipation, a demand for freedom

“Let my people go” became more than mere words

As everyday people unshackled one another.

 

Every man freed his neighbour with the truth

From the bondage of ignorance and illiteracy,

From debilitating lies and disabling deceptions.

 

Love became the new “babariga”

As unity became a national ideal,

And the continent shook in trembling response

As a sleeping giant finally rose to walk.

Toyin Taiwo © 2016