“BLUES FOR THE NEW SENATE KING” BY PROF NIYI OSUNDARE

Behold, the People ask:
Who will save us from our Prostitutes in Power?
Part 1

He wanted so desperately to be King of Senate
He left the Path of Honour behind
Haba! He wanted so desperately to be King of Senate
He left the Path of Honour behind
He stabbed noble Faith and Trust in the back
And put the Traitor’s knife on the bonds that bind

Power-intoxicated, blinded by ambition
He only cares for three big people: “I, Me, and Myself”
Say, Power-drunk, blinded by ambition
He only cares for three big people: “I, Me, and Myself”
A renegade old book with phoney letters
Vacuous, thumb-stained on History’s shelf

His feet never know the way to the house of Honour
“Integrity” is visibly missing in his diction of Deceit
Yes, his feet never know the way to the house of Honour
“Integrity” is visibly missing in his diction of Deceit
He sold us cheap in the commerce of the backroom caucus
Coming back later with a false receipt

Cocky without conscience, rude without restraint
He traded away a victory won with our sweat and blood
Say, cocky without conscience, rude without restraint
He traded away a victory won with our sweat and blood
A discredited enemy behind his tarnished banner
He trampled the people’s Hope in the shameful mud

The fruit never falls far from its tree
True scion of a cold and crooked clan
Ha ha ha, a fruit never falls far from its tree
True scion of a cold and crooked clan
Broken banks, broken dreams, and broken lives
He’s a fitting heir to a dubious pedigree

Part 2

PDP in the morning, Labour at noon, APC at night
Wind-vane politicians with multiple tongues
Say, PDP in the morning, Labour at noon, APC at night
Wind-vane politicians with multiple tongues
They plod through life like shameless masquerades
Their trails are littered by a litany of wrongs

Our rulers stink like festering corpses
Their crimes choke the startled world
Say, Nigeria’s rulers stink like festering corpses
Their nuisance chokes the startled world
Honourless, truthless, with hearts of stone
In league, all times, with treacherous forces

Prostitute dealers, perfidious scoundrels
They sell us short in every market
Say, prostitute dealers, perfidious scoundrels
Selling us short in every market
They tilt the till to their bottomless pocket
And cripple the nation with their ruinous racket

Devoid of scruple, averse to sense,
They blight the ballot and steal our vote
Alas, devoid of scruple, averse to sense
They blight the ballot and steal our vote
They cast us adrift on the swindled oceans
With tattered sails and leaking boat

And WE THE PEOPLE are the absent factor
Bought, sold, disdainfully discarded
Agbaga!* WE THE PEOPLE are the absent factor
Bought, sold, disdainfully discarded
Servile servants of mindless masters
We forgo our right to be well regarded

*Horror of horrors!

Niyi Osundare, one of Africa’s foremost poets and essayists, is a Distinguished Professor of the University of New Orleans, where he teaches in the English Department. He was recipient of the Nigeria National Merit Award in 2014.

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