All Hail NEPA: Nigeria’s God of Darkness by Niyi Osundare


The bond between Nigeria and Darkness,
Only the drastic word can break.
One minute of flimsy flashes,
Then, a thousand hours of lightless groping.
Wingless fans mock our misery
From powerless ceilings.
The aircon coughed into silence
Many unhappy seasons ago.
Failing factories feed our hunger,
Our laptops run on the heat
From our feverish groins.
With the rays of the kindly moon,
We pen the nation’s epics,
While libraries and laboratories suffocate
In the lampless anguish of our benighted Academies.
So wonderfully endowed, we count our blessings,
Halfway through the surgical task,
A medieval darkness engulfs the theatre,
The surgeon’s scalpel veers beyond the veins.
Close by, reeking mortuaries with their restless doors.

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NEPALAND: Blackout Country. Outage Hell.

Candles. Lanterns. Flashlights,
Ancient oil-lamps and their yellow peril:
The cock of our early lights has not begun to crow.

Generator country and its deafening madnesses,
Where the noise-bomb shakes marble mansions
To their golden bases; an ounce of light,
Ten tons of detonating terror.

Generators: diesel-driven, petrol-powered,
To every person their own silence-slayer,
In a country where noise is the national anthem,
In which tribe and tongue consistently differ.

Everyone has their share of our national darkness,
From the porter who sweats beneath the nation’s yoke
To the rich and ruthless whose private greed
Compounds the public need.

Ruler after ruler, from multi-medaled Generals
To tall-capped undertakers of our democratic hoax,
Have passed brave budgets to end the national shame,
Budgets which never rise beyond their bottomless pockets.

NEPALAND. LEPERLAND. Grand Distributor of our national darkness.

Our rulers grope and grab in patriotic frenzy,
The people stumble and slip on their lightless trails.

NEPA: National Electric Power Authority; now re-named Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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