Graham Ereks

November 30 - Nigeria,West Africa
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The Coming

Children playing hither and thither;
Women wearing pieces of cloths
Carrying baskets and water-pots
Chanting and chatting exuberantly;
Men farming and fishing for food.
The land enjoyed peace and quiet
Till they voyaged into the land
With the Bible on one hand
And the gun on the other.

The once-peaceful community
Became renowned for anarchy;
For lawlessness and chaos
Took over the land in
The twinkling of an eye;
Boom! Boom!
Gunshots and lacerating,
They have turned our land
Into something else—a land of calamity—
The once-respected king has no say anymore,
For who is he in the eyes of the Whiteman?

Our people were chained, enslaved
And our resources exploited –
Repatriated clandestinely
To enrich themselves
While we, the true owners,
Get poorer day-by-day.
Would this have happened
If the crown were educated?

Oh! Our people have been exploited—
Our land has been emptied by these
Learned crooks.
They introduced a system of government
That favour them and disfavour us—
The so-called indirect rule system
Culminated in the appointment of warrant chiefs
And the enactment of obnoxious tax laws;
Customs and traditions are trampled upon –
The 1929 women riot would not have occurred
But for the egocentrism of these so-called colonialists—
Indirect rule, the child of necessity my foot!

Our people were denied the right
To vie for elective positions—
Hardly was any indigene elected
Into the legislative council;
For even if any was elected,
It’d be the illiterates
Who know nothing about
The legislative process;
For all the governmental powers
Were exercised by non-nationals:
What a child of necessity!

We had lived in peace
Before you came;
Now the peace is no more.
We all wished to have self-government
But they denied us our right
But thanks to the Atlantic Charter;
My people now live in
A colonialism-free society.
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