HOLD ON



Holding onto you
and all time stops.
Very smell of you
fills my many cups.

Sweetness all about
sorrounds the still air.
Breathing in and out,
makes leaving to fear.

I am full but not fed.
I’m held in my breath,
that hasn’t yet paused.
You’re my living wealth.

FUNERAL OF THE DEAD



Once was a rich man
with a big spoiled family;
he lived an unhappy man.

He wrote his will
and he put in a pan,
stamped with his seal.

After he had died
his whole family met
to mourn and all cried.

His will unsealed
and then it’s torn up
as they merrily mealed.

MAYBE NEWS



Social media has us not so sure
about what’s true or maybe not
When it’s news, we’re not sure
Not even when it maybe not.

News is new, obviously right?
Must be true, not maybe news
Gray is neither black or white,
So nothing in-between is news

CRY BABIES


We’re suffering and call it living;
right where we remain seething.
The reason we’re slowly dieing,
obviously is our own choosing.

This torture is of our own doing;
and this enslaves our reasoning.
Every day we fire up the boiling
and yet dish our all the blaming.

RACIAL RACE



What colors are people really?
It’s been a race thing, isn’t it?
Always been a contest surely;
ran all through time, ain’t it?

The sun rises to make a day,
moon smiles white at night.
Color of life shades our way,
every life is as dark or bright.

KNOWLEDGEABLE IGNORANCE

It’s common in law as said,
that ignorance is no excuse.
For lots, knowledge has paid;
for much more it will confuse.

For what we claim as ours
is not as we acknowledge.
As ignorance brings chaos;
surely as much knowledge.

FREEDOM TO LOVE OR HATE



Aren’t we all citizens of earth;
firstly simply humans beings?
Sure as we’re free in thought
we’ll love or hate some things.

We’re too different to be same,
too alike in ways that’re insane.
So the expression of our tastes,
merely make up our many faiths

LIFE IS AN ACT



All people act like little Weasels
Pretend Beavers and tiny Seals

Their selfishness is quite gifted
He who is told sorry is cheated

All relationships are personal
Nothing human is impersonal

All Life is an act as it is meant
No one should tell you different

ALL GOOD, BAD & UGLY



Within and outside every being
is the good, the bad and the ugly.
It is true of every single entity;
be it inanimate or alive or dying.
Nothing more is fitting naturally.

STONES


Every diamond is a stone,
every single one of them.
Starting off many of none,
later never again all alone;
once it’s known it’s them.

Mere inanimate pieces,
come through hottest hell.
Aged icy glaze gem pieces,
steeled over so many misses
Harden stones with tales to tell

DARK, TAMED & BRIDLED



From whence were you birthed?
The very bowels of ships berthed.

And who had anchored your pains?
Same he that adorned me in chains.

Who housed and fed your pride?
Same he that took away my side.

Who sat you in hard carved wood?
This same master who eats my food.

What lessons were fed to you?
That’s written on my scars too.

What journey have you come from?
One that make up my physical form.

Were you aided and groomed?
Indeed, burdened and tooled.

Where you shaped to a good fit?
Truly, trained to be as yet unfit.

How were you held in place?
Planted, till I lost all my trace.

Surely you tried to branch out?
Rooted trees only get to sprout.

But you grew on and had aged?
Certainly, I’m still not as caged.

So break away and come home.
I’m home in the cage I’m borne.

But all your gains is not evident?
Yet I am surely and truly present.

But you are a readied crucifix?
Yet my time lost I did not miss.

LADY BUGS



Cladded in possible beauty,
cared or cherished no less.
Tendered with flowery duty;
still a Lady bugs regardless.

RICH BAD STEW



When daily Life is Too Hot,
Who cares if home is a Pot?

We’re born to make Breath.
We are all groomed to Fight,
Schooled, cooked to Adapt

Nigeria is a pot of Rich Stew
Badly cooked by the rich Few.

HEADS OR TAILS


Toss the coin all your life,
Balance on edges of a knife.
Whither roam your own course
If life to you is just a lone farce.

Are you not lost in thought;
Like the canine who fought
His own tail round and round,
With its very head not sound?

EVERY WAR IS JUST A BATTLE



Old men always dream up wars,
To send more young men to die.
It’s been one of their flaws,
Will always be for it’s no lie.

The young always follow them;
For it’s their forte to be gullible.
Today’s young men,
Tomorrow’s old men

WORN NOT OUT

There’s a thing about every action
That speaks for every perception
And it tells it’s own unique story
Consciously archived in memory

Any wretched tale of denial,
Of disdained failure and trial,
Will reveal as a dogged bout
Of one toughened life time,
All worn through but not out.

SLUG


As we moan in our far watch;
Nagging our peopled conscience,
We miss out entirely that the catch
Is made up of all our overt nonsense.

A large rich island just drags on,
Not for the size it must always hug.
The bulk of it lost the very reason
Why rich minds will make it a slug.

FINE TIMES


Winners so abound,
Strapped and bounded.
Elated all around,
Joyously dumb-founded.

Those fine times
Speaks for all kinds.
Saying as do chimes,
That time do binds.

Rare times of winning
Brings forth the hidden.
Revealing all missing;
Like fingers in a mitten.

PROSTITUTES


Most prostitutes are normal bodies,
Hard workers doing their oddities;
Which seem unpopular so visibly,
So they can continue to feed boldly.

Circumstances they try to overcome,
Upturned obstacles making them so,
Resembling every other fleshed bone
With less hypocrisy and shyly so sour.

They are not traders selling a bodily asset,
They rent out for material gain and power
Like the more popular, with more respect;
Unlike political integrity, with less shower.

AGE IS TIME

Age is not just a number
It is time and much more.
Age is a climbing descend,
And a diminishing ascend.

Age is a race with time!;
For and also against time.
One day young and on top.
next, old and about to drop.

WHERE A MAN GOES



Where a man goes
So points his toes.
And what he knows;
Not all what he does,
Would lessen his woes.

All around are foes,
with yet another ruse.
Up any tree he throws;
With a beat to choose,
Could be his mangoes.

FLIES AND LIES


In so many eggs
Form these pests,
With hairy legs
And little nests.

Homelessly so
They come alive.
Into lives they saw
Like a heartless knife.

Hollow dreams,
Misty realizations.
Spiteful screams
Claps consolations.

Hopes are meals
Infected in feeding.
Health it steals
With insidious seasoning.

Into lives
Glide monsters,
Flee and leaves
Sorrow in clusters.

Sightless lie
Full of might,
Visible fly
Trading fright.

Coming true
In various ways.
Ever theyre new
In buzzing forays.

Mail your worst,
Untrue are lies.
Come the most
Youre just flies.

SHADES OF SHAPES


There’s many things to say,
in more ways as you may.
Look you see could just be
not what it seems to be.

That smile in bright shades,
simple with warmly shapes,
could be as dark as any sin
or quite simply not as mean.

AFRICA


Darkest people ever found,
A huge pistol points wrong.
If here man got his sound;
Earth, Africa is your song.

AND WHAT A POOR SONG IT HAS THUS BEEN

RACES


They get set, ready and go.
To where? God only will know.
Revolting round earthly tracks
Which knows not their tasks.

Their quests are not visible
Or even humanly sensible.
Competing with complexions,
Hairs, noses and eyes in nations.

What wins these long races
That recognizes their faces,
Will not justify the future;
For races aren’t their nature.

CLOUDS OF SALT (Hadarin gishiri)


Skies are drumming,
The body joins in too.
Clouds are partying,
Invited winds are too.

The body is hurrying,
All corpses are met.
Real hot or chilling,
Salty must be wet.

Sama na kidi,
Jiki ya dauka.
Hadari na biki,
Ya gaiyache iska.

Jiki na sauri,
Kowa na mushe.
Ko zafi, ko dari,
Gishiri sai ya jike.

TEMPTATION


Misty prospects in the skies
Yet this sun blurs the eyes,
While the bright light of day
Carries the whole mind astray.

The bride of shame courts
Yearnings, fantasies and lusts.
The comforts of home pushes,
Sins cold hands outside urges.

Can man sneeze or not
Or blink like it is his sort?
To run at first sighting
Or just dare all tempting,

This he never will elude;
His ways must all conclude.
Not all his wishes go to sea.
For lust, many beaches only will see.

LIFE IS ALL THERE IS

What a waste will be all this
if all this life is all there is.
What will all the good breed,
or all the wickedness feed?

What thoughts set out to achieve,
the deeds done set out to receive.
Men are born to die all alone,
as they always lived all alone.

It goes without much comment,
that now is always the moment,
to do and be done with all doing,
for life is forever for the living.

AGE STEALS ALL


Somewhere in all days;
Witnessed as is always,
In the morning’s blue skies
As in the night’s goodbyes.

It stops the singing,
Matches the hatching.
In its crawling time,
It bettered the wine.

With nothing to give,
It gives and yet deceive.
Wizen the ripened old;
Consumed and still sold.

Young the years grew
And gathered all anew.
Stealth gets its way
As age steals all away.

THE SPOUSE OF SENTIMENTS


Daddy smiled and coughed light,
Understanding my explained plight.
Men are lonely and they know,
Yet they conspire not to let show.

These women are assisted all through
By their very own sex, unlike you.
Firstly by mothers or sisters, then peers.
All thrust, show or coax their shares.

Ladies understand the bodies world well
As they grow so guided, you can tell.
The boy discovers on his very own.
And thus, what he finds is his fun.

IDOLS


The patience of man
Had over many ages
Given to his own land
Births of many images.

It has made gods
Of so many symbols;
Earthly made rods,
Also celestial balls.

In his long wait
His patience creates
Answers that relate
Only to his state.

The clouds of reason
Cover his horizons;
Make a sky season,
Or mystic masons.

Sight is so deceptive
That it can tilt a view,
Halo any perspective
With inspired preview.

Man looks around
And sees such beauty,
Beyond any he found
Or his own humanity.

In his natural urge
He pays respects to
Visions and courage,
Where honour isnt due.

In his all human way,
He puts faith in those
He comprehendsll stay;
Idolizing his very nose.

SINGLED OUT


Found out amidst the threshing stones,
sort out of the cupboard of bones.
Where the situation was doctored
fell out that one not to be mastered.

Revenge consumes like any fire
and depends on sentimental air.
An action sought to set any aside
is vengeful if reason and sense coincide.

When anybody is singled out
the stone-casters dance about,
exposing ignorance and malice;
ironically with the drummers piece.

DÉJÀ VU


They always return like its shown,
Somehow better, on their very own.

When they were nothing, they knew.
And as they were begotten, they threw.

Just like such was predestined,
Man’s priorities shifts ascertained.

It was seen and again it will be,
Like again repeats all tides at sea.

They’ve always forgotten man feeds
Just like water kills and still it breeds.

MEN AT EASE



The other day a lady teased me,
saying I’ve got huge man boobs.
Smiled and tried to make her see,
creation has one reoccurring oops.

Just like everything that is male,
My boobs are for my pleasure;
Not the upliftment of others’ tale,
For God’s a man in all His nature.

CRESCENDO


Earth has been all angry again,
Man did upset hers again;
Like he does again and again.

His efforts in controlling has been
Fixed as to betray his weakness seen;
She’s polite, not rash as harsh in between.

But you wonder how long for,
This sea-saw ride will further go?
Calmly, then hard ends a crescendo.

MONEY AND THE MISER


Spend me! You miserable clot,
So I can travel, visit and just be.
Have I not uplifted all your lot
With my coming and swelling sea?

Ha! See what is talking here;
Another creation grown astray.
Has making you collect near
Lost its purpose as any way?

I have existed so long before,
Making many, long before you.
Hadn’t my might sown more
Fright in you than you’ll rue?

My fear of you doesn’t keep,
That is why you I do amass.
How trivial your might heap
Just like any furniture was?

I taste the air men breathe,
Inhaled in its life and gasped.
Hasn’t the ease I could knit
Warm skeletons all trapped?

I don’t lodge or host guests
And don’t burden any to host.
Haven’t I seen your requests
Send errands until they’re lost?

I plunge in a lake all humble,
Help will come and does drown.
Had not man’s urge so trouble
His lust for his own crown?

Then I’ve unraveled your plot,
So with me you’re ever sunk.
I’ll keep man’s own twin clot.
After all, arent you precious junk?

WHERE ARE YOU?



First time I got those three words,
it was a parent checking on me.
Then it was a sibling’s own words,
demanding my attention and me.

Next on the train came a friend,
likewise demanding attention.
And this goes on without end,
because I’m in for an education.

As a stallion, my girl owned me,
every minute her calls are as true.
Mother didn’t as much call me.
Now my pet name is WHERE ARE YOU?

IMMORTALITY

We live on in our children

Every bit of knowledge is new,

at the instant it came into light.

The boldest fact as we all knew,

is time at hand is truest might.

The captain that has his crew,

has his craft in steady flight.

Time spent well is never few,

when it’s gains speaks right.

JUST THIS ONCE


Truthfully none lives all alone,
But dead as alive all has none.

The words we are saying now, found us somewhere we know.

Our thoughts are always near, holding us captive right here.

REBIRTH

Everything is chaos
that comes to a head.
Like life is not yours,
if it owns you instead.

The parent of logic
is simply knowledge.
What’s certainly tragic,
is all life is in bondage.

IMMORALITY

Time is a precious commodity,


one we cannot create but waste.

How we use every opportunity,

determines our enduring taste.

The fabric of every community,

makes up it’s content and state.

When a people lose their sanity,

old men rule like boys in haste.

BOYS & TOYS

Boys’ll ever be boys!
Even if they’re older,
they like same toys;
only just get bolder!

Men get a lot older,
playing more bolder.
Craving similar toys,
make men still boys.

THE 411 IS 404

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe


All roads might lead to Rome but all dogs are heading for Katsina as the State Government is to expend N300 million on them to secure schools. Who is supplying the dogs? Certainly none of Ejike Mbaka’s “three contractors” nor Eedris Abdulkarim via Festus Keyamo! Anyway, this laudable proposal might however start off dog rustling because some Nigerians particularly from …, ……., ….. and …… would have already started calculating the cumulative length of “Telephone wire” that would be roasted, fried or pepper souped. If you decode the 3, 7, 5 and 6 dots na you sabi! Now that negotiating with bandits has obviously failed are dogs the best way forward?

While canines are wonderful as temporary early warning mechanism they cannot be a permanent preventive measure. Dogs are not bullet proof. Katsina people should rather implore their kinsman in Abuja to wake up on the job to identify and root out the immediate and remote causes of abductions – nationwide.

After all that is what he was voted into office to do! By the way who will feed and maintain N300 million worth of dogs? I ask because in Katsina “members” are said to be mainly concentrated at the Mammy Market of you know where. Chances are that each time there is salary delay or month far a government owned Bingo or two might end up there! If so it will be just a question of time before man’s best friend starts turning out to be other men’s 404!

LIVING

Living is a trip that keeps going.
Daily it comes, always it’s going.

It is peopled, hectic, never cozy;
Fares as pests all quite naughty,
Only it’s tiny stops are a bit rosy.

Picture from @xinorino

LOVES LOVE

This isn’t the story of our wives;
With each and all we share life,
Parting and bridging as we leave.
Each and all of us is this thief.

We lead with all emotions canal,
Lustily wanting all just temporal.
For we only tell from the external;
Wishing, hoping it is so internal.

Rolled in next is the nature,
The feelings growing to mature.
We regard or discard a culture
To marry dreams, make a future.

The investments yield their sanity,
Our character tests its immunity.
The lucky are in blissful humility,
Off springing, living, fostering humanity.

Measurement elude even more less,
For all other lust is meaningless.
Finally, love rules all the featureless,
Together we die till eternity endless.

January 15, 1966

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The last official public function of Nigeria’s first and only elected Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the commissioning of the River Niger Bridge linking Asaba with Onitsha. After which;
“On December 19, 1965 he (Balewa) went to the small village of Arondizuogu in Orlu for the commissioning of Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe’s “Palace of the People” Built by Italian contractors, it was a three-storey affair resplendent with blue terrazzo walls, swimming pool and a fountain, grand conference halls and event rooms, red carpet and gilt chairs. All these in a village where most houses were still born of mud and thatched roofs. Since the first tarred roads were constructed in 1890s in Lagos, and the first dual carriage way in Nigeria – Queen Elizabeth Road – appeared in 1956 in Ibadan, no road in Arondizuogu or in Orlu had ever been graced with bitumen before.

Yet Mbadiwe situated the grand palace there as a source of pride for his people. At the commissioning ceremony, the Eastern Premier, Dr Okpara never saw the project as a white elephant planted by megalomania and watered by corruption, rather he hailed the project as “a great achievement for pragmatic African socialism.” The press placed the value of the house at least half a million pounds. Mbadiwe said it was “at most £40,000.” After the commissioning, Abubakar then proceeded to his farm in Bauchi for his annual leave.”

The Prime Minister was briefly in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 4, 1966 before returning to Lagos.Despite the fact that Sir Balewa was a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, he was a modest person who had throughout his life led a Spartan and ascetic lifestyle. He owned only 2 private residences in Bauchi and Kaduna and a 50 acre farm near his hometown of Tafawa Balewa.

His personal integrity was unassailable, yet in Lagos as Prime Minister he headed a government that glossed over the proven corrupt practices of its apparatchiks for the sake of political expediency;
“The NCNC parliamentary leader and Minister of Trade, Dr. Ozumba Mbadiwe was caught using his office to divert a government land at Ijora Causeway to his private company Afro Properties and Investment Company since 1961. He then assigned the land lease to Nigerpool in return for a hefty annual profit. The discovery generated another media-exposed corruption scandal.

The Prime Minister met privately with Babatunde Jose, the editor of the powerful Daily Times spearheading the intense campaign to remove the corruption extremist if he declined to resign. Mbadiwe never bothered. Sir Balewa told the editor: “You want me to remove this man? What he did fell below what is proper. Under British standards, he would go, but the NCNC who put him in my original coalition are solidly for him. Its central working committee had just passed a unanimous vote of confidence in him. If they withdraw, since Awolowo can’t join, the [coalition] government will collapse.’”No doubt during the First Republic there were numerous signs and symptoms of rapid democratic decay against the background of massive political corruption.

The bloody events of January 15, 1966 did not just happen in some vacuum. By January 15, 1966 our nation was a disaster waiting to happen as there was a noticeable buildup towards chaos as noted by declassified US diplomatic cables which clearly stated how our nation had got to a level of; “Very complicated African politics, in which tribes, religions and economics all play a part, are involved in the situation. The Northern Premier is at odds with the Eastern Premier in whose region large oil deposits have been discovered. In the heat of the election campaign, there have been threats of secession by the East; threats of violence that would make Congo look like child’s play.”The American cables were about the intense political rivalry at the highest echelons of government;
“Following the controversial Federal Election of December 1964, ceremonial President Azikiwe of the NCNC, refused to invite Prime Minister Balewa of the NPC to form a government and issued orders mobilizing the Army to enforce his authority to suspend the government, annul the elections and appoint a temporary interim administrator to conduct elections.

However, the oath of allegiance of the officer corps was not only to the Commander in Chief but also to the government of Nigeria. The Army Act (#26 of 1960) and the Navy Act (#9 of 1960) were also clear on lines of authority and control.While the Army and Navy were “under the general authority” of the Defence Minister in matters of “command, discipline and administration”, the authority for operational use and control was vested in the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. President Azikiwe and the service chiefs were so advised by the Chief Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Thus the Navy Commander, Commodore Wey politely told the President that the Navy (under him), the Army (under Major General Welby-Everard) and the Police (under Louis Edet) had decided to refuse his orders. After a week of cliff hanging tension, in which the military stood aside, a political compromise was eventually reached and a government of “national unity” formed under Prime Minister Balewa.” Was Dr. Azikiwe privy to the January 15, 1966 coup?There was also the political collateral damage of;
“Operation Banker’, a joint Army-Police operation in the Western region, led by then CO, 4th battalion, Lt. Col. Maimalari, allegedly at the behest of the pro-NPC regional Premier (Akintola) culminating in the declaration of a state of emergency in May 1962 after a fracas in the House of Assembly and the appointment of an administrator.

Interestingly, the General Staff Officer at the Army HQ in charge of Intelligence was none other than Captain Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu who, as a Major, was later to play a key role in the coup of January 1966 in which Maimalari lost his life.”This politicization of the military led to; “The arrest on September 22, 1962 and subsequent imprisonment of the opposition leader, Chief Awolowo, on suspicion of planning a civilian overthrow of the government. It was alleged that 300 volunteers were sent to Ghana for 3 weeks militia training.”
Interestingly; “The last interview granted to the magazine ‘West Africa’, by the late Prime Minister Balewa on January 14, a few hours to his death, went like this:
Question: Do you see the solution as taking the form of a coalition government in the West?

Balewa: Yes, it would have to be that …The Action Group has accepted my mediation, but the NNDP has asked for more time. If I use real force in the West – and make no mistake about it, I haven’t yet – then I could bring the people to their knees. But I don’t want to use force like that. Force can’ t bring peace to people’s hearts.
Question: Would you consider the release of Chief Awolowo as part of a political solution of the West’s troubles?

Balewa: I think that might be part of it; yes, obviously we would have to see.
This interview was not published until January 29, 1966.”
Little did Sir Balewa know that the political end game of the January 15, 1966 mutineers was to release then opposition leader, Chief Awolowo from Calabar prison and install him as head of a national unity government. Chief Awolowo has never confessed to being privy of the coup attempt though the official documents containing the details of what actually happened and how 54 years ago are still classified.May the souls of Sir Balewa and that of all those that lost their lives on January 15, 1966 continue to rest in peace.