Why hoist the flag that the humongous post-independence shackles make a caricature of the pre-independence slavery?
Why hoist the flag of “She” that has pierced the womb of pregnant mothers butchering babies and denying them the gift of the sun?
Why hoist the flag that has turned a deaf ear to the cries in the land even as the heavens rain blood?
Why hoist the flag of “She” that derives joy in shedding the blood of the innocent offspring while raping the living with penetrative abusive power?
The flag that has miscarried countless dreams with men walking her streets a shadow of themselves stripped of hope.
Why hoist the flag that celebrates mediocrity instead of integrity?
Why hoist that flag when cows like princes are riding on human back and humans are aliens and slaves in her animal kingdom.
It’s Independence Day and my pen was war ready to recount the ordeals of she that we have lost hope in, the country Achebe told us there was.
Unfortunately, the real war started when I woke up Independence morning with the most irrational song on my lips.
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….Hallelujah Eh! It’s the sound of Victory
Let the sound of rejoicing fill this House
It’s the sound of Breakthrough
Hallelujah Eh! It’s the sound of Freedom….
Who sings Hallelujah in a strange land?
Here I am, singing Hallelujah hoisting her flag knowing that my being in denial cannot change the fact that my placenta was deeply buried and had gotten rotten in her soil. My first cry was heard in the midst of her even as I suckled hungrily at her bosom.
I thought diaspora will help forget about her even as her riches were carted away to it but the thought of a place to call home like a nightmare continuously hunts.
So here I am hoisting her flag and won’t stop even if my muscles go sore
I won’t stop till I have men join me as we spew out those elements in her that has so dented the image and left her crippling at 58.
We won’t stop till we succeed in fighting both corruption and the corrupt fighting corruption
We won’t stop until the looters with their loots are caught with the hook and brought to book
We won’t stop until we quench every fire ignited by tribal differences, religion and other historical lies we were told
We won’t stop till Leah is back home safe with the family
We won’t stop till the South- South creek waters sparkle void of spillage
We won’t stop till we hear the sound of laughter in the northern clan of Sambisa spreading through the entire plateau with Benue shouting for joy
We won’t stop till the unresolved issues of the Civil war are brought to the table and are peacefully resolved
We won’t stop till the Land is green again
We won’t stop until there is victory
Where then do I find willing warriors to hoist the flag of freedom with me?
Wake up ye dampened spirits and let’s fight this war now and change the story of our Nation’s good old days to a better greater today and a continuous best golden years.
I can hear the sound of victory not in my mind’s utopia, but victory on the streets of our nation.
Who said we are not independent when we have survived so far living in a country that provides almost nothing for its citizens
Yes we will rise!
The land will be green as we rise!!
Nigeria will rise!!!
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Happy Independence Day my countrymen!
Music Credit: Hallelujah Eh By Nathaniel Bassey
Poem Credit: We Rise By Maya Angelou
Written By: Ebelechukwu Okafor