Wednesday, 18 January 2012 15:23

The Birth, Childhood and Maturity of Nigeria

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The Birth, Childhood and Maturity of Nigeria

By Muhammad Ajah (Being a piece from his poem collection titled: Sing to Me, Nigeria)


1)      Sing to me, Nigeria

In 1914, in our homes where

We looked at one another and smiled

Amalgamation was born

Then we became powerless

Powerless because we received orders

From those who cared for us

Like a child punished for disobedience

They loved our unity for united gains

And traded upon our sweats

As we shrieked in fear

When a white man stood before us 


2)      Sing to me, Nigeria

They traversed the plains of the north

They tiptoed our rocky plateaus

They slid into the murky soil of the delta

And they crawled into the leafy east and west

They beckoned on the three of us

And with the mantra of a revered Lord

Coaxed us to dine together

And we did, yes we did

Even as we loved ourselves

Even as we feared at first

That we may be unable to stand

Though we make ourselves powerless

Yet many in number


3)      Sing to me, Nigeria 

They took their turns to tame

The anger we quickly swallowed

In reverence of a white man

They marauded the beauties of this land

In shorts and T-shirts neatly tucked-in

And mustache trimmed as crest

They stained the domains of our ancestors

And brought to us all these thoughts

We claim to possess but cannot keep

Because God has loved us much

Though still, He leaves our change

Unto our own selves 


4)      Sing to me, Nigeria 

Luggard’s spouse merely added to the Niger

Where Park was overcome by ignorance

O! We had little or no say

As Lord Luggard came with his cain

Then Clifford, then Thompson, then Cameron

Then Bourdillon, then Evelyn, then Burns, then Richards

Then Macpherson and Robertson

Ten colonial masters and regimes

Until, like a loyal child

Feeling the pain of torture and denial

We staggered and stood on our feet

And looked into the eyes of the master

And shouted, freedom, freedom, freedom!   


5)        Sing to me, Nigeria

The journey to your freedom, I recall

A moderately rough venture your dear ones

Undertook to save our powerlessness

Before any creature born of the womb

Just like yesterday, the lion-hearted heroes

When life was dearer, easier and snugger

They stood on their two legs

They spoke from one mind

Like Mandela, life was worthless

To be slaves in our own fatherland

Whose defence is divine  


6)      Sing to me, Nigeria  

So hard, it gradually came to be

So persistently, they got it

Without shots from AK 47 or pistols

But from the tireless shots of the brains

Bent to attain ease for posterity

Nigeria is a Promised Land! They shouted

Sweeping through the north to south

Even with diplomacy to free her

From the shackles of colonialism

A trend, so diehard, has remained

To blur our development   


7)      Sing to me, Nigeria 

I could hear them speak in a room

“We can’t remain like this, no we can’t

We shall be failing in our duties as leaders

If remains our bondage in modernity

Nay, we are doomed if a single follower

Raises a palm to God for our failure”

They were charged with the spirit inborn

In a patriot who seeks greatness

For the land upon which he first bowed

So they threw the shoes of the white man

Wore the red cap, babariga and agbada

And only took part of his lore


8)      Sing to me, Nigeria

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of Anambra - the home of all

Tafawa Balewa of Bauchi - the pearl of tourism

Sir Ahmadu Bello - the Sardauna of Sokoto

General Aguiyi Ironsi of Abia - God’s own state

General Yakubu Gowon of Plateau - the home of peace and tourism

General Murtala Muhammad of Kano - the centre of commerce

General Olusegun Obasanjo of Ogun - the gateway state

Alhaji Shehu Shagari of Sokoto - the seat of caliphate

General Muhammad Buhari of Katsina - the home of hospitality

General Ibrahim Babangida of Niger - the power state

Chief Ernest Shonekan of Ogun again - the gateway state

General Sani Abacha of Kano again - the centre of commerce

General Abdusalam Abubakar of Niger again - the power state

Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’Adua of Katsina again - the home of hospitality 

And Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Bayelsa - the pride of nation 


9)      Sing to me, Nigeria 

Do you hear me, Azik Nigeria?

Do you hear me, Bello Nigeria?

Do you hear me, Awo Nigeria?

Do you hear me, Balewa Nigeria?

Do you hear me Ebele Nigeria?

Do you hear me, Ajaogwu Nigeria?

Do you hear me, O Compatriots?

All who stood the heat in one footing

Face to face or with prayers

Until God looked into our minds

And gave a nod for our freedom

For in unity in soul and flesh they were


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Muhammad Ajah

Muhammad Ajah is a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja. E-mail-