(Olaitan Oyerinde, the Personal Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomole of  Edo State, was murdered by unknown gunmen in Benin on May 4 and he was laid to rest on Thursday, May 10, in Ede, Osun State,  amid tears and eulogies)










He’s gone without saying goodbye,

The fire snuffed out, the ashes blown away,

The barrage of lead his mortal flesh could not defy,

To their malicious customs has he fallen prey,

Thus by shine or shower we ceaselessly mourn,

Despondent, miserable, bereaved and forlorn.



But for how long shall we fold our arms,

And continue to seethe under oppression,

For how long shall the guns rotten in the shade,

While the oafish birds shit on our heads,

Much good would have suffered ruin,

Before the earth destroys the wicked.



Heirloom of potentates and despotic dynasties,

Niche comfiest for the nocturnal marauders,

The company of thieves ensconced to revel in revelries,

Yet thus demented with every devious art,

To charm the fancy and endear the unwary heart,

The home and the brook humbugged by the prima facie vista.



The twigs snap not except a cause there be

From whence, and why these eerie cannonade?

Mother-hen and the hawks in unwholesome alliance,

Lo, night and day at the marriage altar,

Corollary to the dogmatic rhetoric of cornucopic dawn,

The owls have indeed awakened the crowing cock.



The drum is now beating wildly pit-a-pat,

Too incongruous for the royal masquerade to do his dance,

Trousers are pulled up, but the flood soaks you still,

What matters then, wither you go now, or where you turn?

He that does not want strange footsteps in his backyard,

Must fence it up, and further raise the fort.



Because of the deaf the cloud blackens before it rains,

Thunder rumbles for the sake of the blind,

The earth is no realm for cowardice,

Sooner or later war is imminent,

A war foretold does not kill a wise lame,

So let the hare perfect its race,

Let the porcupine carefully craft its calabash.



Light not your candles to mourn his death,

Rather sharpen your swords and prepare for war,

Take off your sack-cloths and dust off the ashes,

Lest we be easy quarries in the hands of the slayer,

Blow the dust off your guns and tie your amulets,

The rules have changed, the hunter now the prey.



Whoever kills a vulture lives not to see another year,

Whoever hunts a phoenix does not live to see another moon,

If death strikes on the right,

Obaluaye let me hear a cry from the house of Olaitan’s killers,

If pestilence strikes on the left,

Orisa-nla spare not the shed of the evil doers.



Let nothing hurt us; the gods say let nothing hurt us,

The earthworm tried to hurt us and now it has no legs,

The snake tried to hurt us; now it crawls and eats dust,

The back of tripod-stones is no habitation of snails,

The vulture maintains he is no bird for rituals,

The cat says its back is not for the ground.



We are like the small round pot; that which is far upstream,

It is Ogun that said it must not be broken,

Fire never dies in the billow’s presence,

The least of snakes is never trapped in a thicket,

It is to and fro that the hand scrubs the mouth,

Safety is ours, disaster the lot of our enemies.

Protection is ours, calamity the lot of Nigeria’s enemies.



Ogunyemi Bukola


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