February 21, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo



Paul Oluwafemi David







(To my fellow Nigerians voting with their hands instead of their minds)



Votes light the way

For power and war.


In Nigeria thumbs are buttons detonating

Atomic Bombs after it has cast its vote

To begin the rally for power and tenure.


Only a traitor uses silence to betray its country.


Chibok was a play

Staged for change of power and tenure

In the heart of the forest with

Plots and casts.


With trees, plants, sand and lightning as

The loyal witnesses

Watching the deception of power,

Watching the art in the heart of

Evil playwrights.


Dancing alone in the wild Sambisa forest

For a party to be sacrificed to raise

Another using the media as propaganda.


The play was etched from cruelty,

From anger, from jealousy

By politicians who’re tired of waiting

For their moment

And season.


The wind bellowed storms

To quench the lies,

Plants shouted to

Expose the lies,

That our leaders have

Written and staged.


The cloud turned black to

Expose the darkness,

The sand danced with dust to expose

The deception.


That our politicians and leaders has crafted and

Staged because of

Power and tenure.


You didn’t see it when it walked,

Didn’t hear it when it talked,

Didn’t smell it when it cooked,

Didn’t sense it

When it leaked.


That Chibok was a play written by our leaders

With no respect for your future,

With no respect for your choice.


You didn’t see plants weep to wake you up,

Didn’t see trees die to wake you up,

Didn’t see birds cry to wake you up,

That Chibok was a play staged by Pagans,

That Chibok was a play staged by

Kings with no respect for your dreams,

With no respect

For your ambitions.


Chibok girls weren’t kidnapped,

It was religion and tribalism that

Was snapped to look at the present and future,

It was fear and doubts that was snapped to look at today and morrow.

Today is in prison for the future to be kidnapped,

Today is a camera used for snapping the future.

It’s our future that was kidnapped by politicians and leaders,

By elders and statesmen who took the wrong picture of time to make the wrong choice,

To make the wrong move to history.


You didn’t see the forest

Become a desert to piss you off,

Didn’t see stones running

Everywhere to piss you off,

Didn’t see favourites

Becoming underdog to piss you off,

Didn’t see flowers burning

Everywhere to piss you off.


That Chibok was a play written by kings and queens,

That Chibok was a drama

Written by heroes and sheroes,

With no respect for your life,

With no respect for your fate.


You didn’t see dreams burnt away to piss you off,

Didn’t see the cloud call on phone to piss you off,

That Chibok wasn’t

A kidnap, wasn’t an emergency.


The play was added to air to make it die,

It was added to peace to rip it into pieces,

It was added to happiness

To make it small, small and small.


You didn’t see the sun borrow the moon to piss you off,

Didn’t see the moon borrow the sun to piss you off,

That Chibok wasn’t a kidnap, wasn’t impromptu.


That Chibok was a play from leaders,

That Chibok was a drama from

Thinkers with no respect for your sadness,

With no respect for your poverty,

With no respect for your darkness,

With no respect for

Your underdevelopment.


You forgot to count the legions

Of souls that got burnt to piss you off,

You forgot to count the armies

Of bodies buried to piss you off.


People died here and there to piss you off,

Churches celebrated hell to piss you off,

Schools celebrated ignorance to piss you off,

Aso rock celebrated terrorists to piss you off.


We were blind to see the plays through the wind,

Deaf to hear the warnings through the storm,

Dumb to read the call through the thumb.


Someone must’ve seen it coming

But never cared,

Saw them naked but never cared.


When they were packed into trees,

Packed into birds, packed into hell,

Someone must’ve seen them but never talked.


Silence betrays a country

Every day keeping its

Citizens locked with tears and pain.


Silence added to a country speaks out war and battles.

Someone must’ve seen them but never cared.

The sun died here and there

Through your skin to

Give you cancer, to piss you off.


Churches got burnt to piss you off,

Homes got leveled to piss you off.


Our politicians and elders

Enjoyed the play to

The last page for the fun of it,

They enjoyed the drama

To the last spread for the fun of it,

Until the pages bought cages,

Until the lines bought mines,

Until the book bought hooks

Used for fishing dreams to death.


Until the play bought twins

Hanging between religion

And ethnicity,

Hate and jealousy,

Today and morrow.


Chibok has served its purpose

To bring us back to our senses.

It has provided power

And tenure for wicked politicians and leaders

With no respect for your tears and future.

Properties became

Liabilities to piss you off,

Parents betrayed their kids to piss you off,

Families became stories to piss you off,

News became dews to piss you off,

Saints became sinners to piss you off,

Sinners became

Leaders to piss you off.

Chibok has fed on our ignorance today.


What of morrow?

What of the future?


The evil playwrights are still

Walking among us,


Scheming for another divide,

Another overthrow to

Keep them in power and tenure.

How did we vote

For darkness to lead light?

How did we add

Light with darkness?

They’re here and

There in our country running

Everywhere with

Darkness with two seasons of

Dawn and dusk.


Enemies are families,

Leaders are killers,

Opponents are tenants,

Victories are stories,

Stories are glories,

Victories are questionable.


Silence protects a country only with a strong wall of war.


Victories are questionable.






Paul Oluwafemi David

Paul Oluwafemi David is a Nigerian Scientist, philosopher and poet. He’s a student of the art of Professor Wole Soyinka and Ben Okiri.Currently he’s a student doctor at the college of human medicine UNN. He has been published in Afrikana, African Writer, Bangalore Review, Kalahari Review, Nantygreens, Pride, Praxis, Three Drops, Poetry Life and Times, Tuck, Words and The Muse. He was long listed for October30Fest humanitarian Prize, 2018 Best New African Poets, Bodies and Scars anthology by Ghana Writes Literary Group. He’s the author of Beautiful Things Flower in the Rain published by a New York Press.

Editor review


  1. Priscilla December 15, at 19:08

    This is spontaneous! really great, it a remarkable truth thats points our deeds as a Nigerian, but it's a pity that we've turned blind eye to our problems, there by pointing fingers rather playing our responsibility.

  2. Peace Ginikachukwu March 16, at 10:21

    Full of inspirations. I love this.Great poem That’s Nigerians,most of us believe that so many happenings is not our business at the early stage after which it will turn out to become our personal business that we can’t avoid.Our problem is two folds,we are neither proactive nor reactive.Sometimes, we ought to be reactive but not effectively reactive


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