Monday, April 20, 2015

SOUTH AFRICA - A POEM By Odimegwu Onwumere

I thought I'd share this passionate poem with you. It touched a deep part of my soul and got me thinking and wondering how Africa got here.

South Africa

These killings, bestialities, animosities
You show to your visitors
Are for ignorance.

Oh! South Africa,
A land stained with innocent bloods
Generations with all the soaps can’t clean.

You have created ills
With these odious killing competition.

You neglected to learn,
Failed to compete with your visitors,
Failed to acquire knowledge,
Failed to be hospitable.


Killing your visitors
Can never be a sacrifice
To redeem your ignorance.

Killing your visitors
Can never open paths
Of prosperity for you.

Killing your visitors
Can never generate ideas for you.

You have caused your bad luck
With these innocent bloods
That would continue

To cry from your soil
Till the end of time.

Oh! South Africa,
Sunshine and moon
Shall henceforth be your enemies
As you enviously take to killing
Your visitors as your foes
In lure of taking them as your friends

- Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Writer, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Friday, April 17, 2015

4th Time Lucky: The Myth Of Buhari’s Victory

Sometime in December 2014, just after General Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), I wrote a piece titled ‘Buhari and the Magic Number 4’ in which I analyzed the significance of the number 4 in Nigeria’s President-elect, General Buhari’s 4th attempt at becoming the President.

I was just monitoring proceedings at the APC primaries and decided to look at the 'what ifs'. Then the magic number 4 hit me.

The year being 2014, Buhari won over 47% of the 7,214 accredited delegates, scoring 3,430 votes to beat all other aspirants.

Incidentally, all top 4 candidates in the APC primary election scored votes with the number 4 after all votes were counted: Buhari 3430, Kwankwaso 974, Atiku 954 and Okorocha 624.

The question on my mind, would General Muhammadu Buhari be 4th time lucky?

However, when the presidential election was shifted from February 14, I felt perhaps my permutations where just some coincidence that I took too seriously, as the new date; 28-3-2015 had nothing to do with the number ‘4’.

At that time, a part of me knew Nigeria was heading for a change. What I was not sure about was if it would be a change of leadership which the General’s political party, APC, was campaigning for, or a change of paradigm which Nigerians seemed to be embracing.

The election came and contrary to all expectation of crisis, it was peaceful. The collation process was probably the longest event Nigerians have ever had to follow so religiously. Somehow the number 4 started showing up again.

The collation dragged for so long with several annoying breaks declared by the INEC boss and this ensured that General Buhari’s declaration as winner came in April – the 4th month.

Actually, he was declared winner of the election at exactly 3:15am on April 1 – within the 4th hour in the 4th month of the year.

General Buhari, out of 14 presidential candidates, polled a total of 15,424,921 votes (with 4 emerging twice) to become Nigeria's 4th democratically elected President of the 4th Republic.

The battle is won and lost and Nigeria prepares for the swearing-in on May 29. Indeed General Muhammadu Buhari was 4th time lucky. 

My first attempt at mythology seems right but my greatest joy is that Nigerians stood together to choose a new leader in peace. This can only be divine.

The atmosphere across the country was too charged for anyone to truly believe that weeks after the 2015 general elections we would not be reporting death tolls across the country.

If the Nigerian people and the politicians do not grab this as the divine opportunity given by the Almighty to fix the country within the next 4 (FOUR) years, I fear the regrets will be 4 times more painful than whatever we have experienced in 4 decades.

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