The Anthem and the Pledge
How shall we then sing this anthem
and cross our right hand to the left to render this pledge?
Cause every time I tell lies, I feel a twitch in my heart
and a voice, telling me stop that.
For how long would we call it a petition?
For how long would this lie be our tradition?
How shall we arise when the call is fading away?
When the nation is in excruciating pains?
Though with torment to our souls, we serve our fatherland
but how then can we do this in love
when the seeds of disunity is sown
and the wind of discord have blown?
When our leaders pay tributes to the demons of ethnicity
and our rulers welcome the sylphs of unrest.
For how long would we drink this portion?
This tonic that strengthens religious sentiments.
How then can we do it with strength on empty stomachs?
when we are yet to serve the canals of our guts?
I have heard people say that a hungry man is an angry man
But for someone whose meals are only on the plates of hope,
Where is the vigor to get angry?
Would he, to serve his fatherland, agree?
How then can we do this in faith
when the scriptures of the nation is full of decay?
Should we then sing this anthem in believe
when truly the heart of the nation grieves?
The labor of our heroes past is gradually sinking.
Sinking into the crumbling edifice of history.
How then can we stop this calamity
when the very leaders that swear to protect the country’s integrity
have forgotten their manifestoes and gone after prosperity.
We are one nation bound in freedom
But freedom is not October 1st, 1960.
Freedom is when I can walk a freeman
Without fear of cattle rearers,
Cattle rearers who hold guns rather than rods.
Guns that even the devil dare not hold.
Freedom is equality.
Freedom is love.
Freedom is what my heart longs for.
Freedom is peace, freedom is unity.
But this freedom, we have not.
For our chains have gotten stronger,
our pains are eating deeper
and all we have left is a prayer.
Oh God of creation!
When you created the heavens and the earth
and made humans,
and us, a Nigeria.
You made it good and void of corruption.
You made it noble.
But what then shall we say is our cause?
For we lay in the ruins of imperfection
and our leaders, upon us, a curse.
They stray and we pray thee that you guide them aright.
Let the house of representa-thieves and that of the sin-inate
see your light.
Help our youths to know that armed robbery and scam
Is grievous in your sight.
Cause only then can we, in love and honesty, live aright.
How can justice reign,
when our judiciary has become a shelter for embezzlers and money launderers?
How more into the ground can the word ‘just’ be buried,
When a fine of Five hundred thousand is paid,
By a butterfly who cargos a ship of nectar?
How can we recite this pledge without tears in our eyes?
Without the twitching of our hearts?
How can I,
Pledge to be faithful, loyal and honest.
How can I,
Without asking myself if our leaders truly make this pledge.
Or is it that they just lip-synch?
Or maybe it’s just that their hearts are smeared with hot iron.
How can I serve on empty stomach?
How can I defend the unity of a broken home?
How can I uphold the honor and glory of a lost battle?
Help me God.
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This Poems Story
The poem deals with the ills of the nation, Nigeria. Its subject matter is aimed at highlighting the shortcomings of the nation. The poem employs the use of the national and anthem and the pledge to highlight where the nation is getting it wrong. The poem ends with the last line of the pledge which reads 'so help me God'. this line clearly shows that only God can intervene in the state in which the country currently is.