THE COUNCIL OF POVERTY – OsoweOluwagbenga O. @gbengaosowe
Poverty is seated in council with his trusted minions,
To bring doom to the land of the blessed ones,
Mediocrity, corruption, bad governance in attendance,
They sat, talked and did the macabre dance,
In anticipation of the honour that awaits them,
Oblivious of the gloom on their leader’s face.
In high sounding voice, Poverty addressed them,
“Oh ye trusted minions of evil, hear ye me this day,
The land of Haugbouba* is blessed with many minerals,
Over them I fear I am rendered powerless,
My reach, wealth in abundance has moved them beyond
What shall we do? Ye spirits of doom, what shall we do?”
Silence prevailed over the council,
The words of their lord rend their hearts asunder,
All gathered in groups of twos and threes to ponder,
Muttering, whispering their thoughts one to another,
Sighs of hopelessness escaped many lips,
And then a voice was heard saying I SHALL GO, send me.
All eyes followed the trail of the voice,
Lo! It was of Corruption, that eternal destruction of good deeds,
Poverty called all to silence and addressed Corruption,
“Speak, I pray thee, faithful servant, how would thou achieve this?
The blessings of the Almighty on their land is so great,
How then would thou bring the land under my command?”
“My lord” said Corruption, I shall go to them in a more subtle form,
I go there not as Corruption for that might make them hate me,
By different names shall I be known unto them to carry out my deeds,
To some, I will called a tip, to others kola, riba or roger or egunje,
None shall hate me for in their eyes I shall be just an extra earning”
“That is good dearest servant” said Poverty “go with my blessings”
Down to Nigeria came Corruption, hovering around,
Like a spirit, he wandered around for people to hound,
In the offices, churches, mosques, schools, he lurked,
Seeking willing bodies that he might do his master’s will,
He saw a man there collecting money for goods not delivered,
And another one inflating the costs of goods to be ordered.
Loudly, corruption shouted for joy,
I am the spirit of Egunje,
Come to prepare the way for poverty my lord.
Your hearts shall be my place of abode
I am Egunje, the forerunner of poverty.
*Haugboba: Land of the HAUsa, iGBO and yoruBA
2nd POSITION – SPIRIT OF EGUNJE COMPETITION (POETRY CATEGORY)