Where Is Our Government? By Niyi Osundare

“We have a lot of insecurity in Nigeria. By road we are not safe. By train we are not safe”.

         (From a survivor of the Abuja-Kaduna Train bomb; Mon., March 28, 2022)

Too many ills do a nation kill  

     Ills just as many as the corpses

That clutter every gutter

     Of our callously mis-governed country


The roads are slaughter slabs

     The rails only take us on terminal journeys

Every coach is a waiting coffin

     The nation’s graveyards puke from unspeakable excess


“Bandits”, “terrorists”: a tardy government

     Plays name-games while criminals 

Rampage without restraint

     Different name, same Nemesis


What do you call a nation

     Where food is scarce

And peace is scarcer; where 

     Life sells at a thousand for one kobo?


Bandits raid the homestead

     Bandits raid the streets

Bandits raid the schools

     Bandits raid the temples


Bandits rack army barracks

     Bandits pummel police stations. . . .

Our government fled long ago

     Without leaving a forwarding address


                                                 Niyi  Osundare


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