Prof. Niyi Osundare

                      I

The Emperor hits the streets

With a  cargo of cash

Ah! The Emperor hits the streets

With  a cargo of cash

Convoys so loaded with lustful loot

A huge fortune, to them, is a trifle ‘dash’*

 

The first ports of call are the kings’ domains

The regal post for the fattest bribe

Say, the first ports of call are the kings’ domains

The regal post for the fattest bribe

They pledge their crowns, they pledge their beads

And whatever  else is sacred in their swindled tribe

 

To every Oba his dollar dole

The Obis get their own in sparkling sterling

Eewo!** To every Oba his dollar dole

The Obis get their own in sparkling sterling

The royal groveling that Greeks the gift

Is way  beyond  my plebeian  telling

 

 

The Empress lumbers large to grease and grab

With her cache of gold for the womenfolk

See, the Empress looms  large  to grease and grab

With her cache of gold for the womenfolk

Every word is a Malaprop Moment

A sick, sad country and its silly joke

 

 

Bribe the Pastors, bribe the Thugs

Pound and plunder the national treasury

Say, bribe the Pastors, bribe the Thugs

Pound and plunder the national treasury

Press the flesh, pull the polls

Rake in the gains of your hard-bought treachery

 

               II

 

Corruption has a  room

In the house called Nigeria

Hear? Corruption has a large room

In the house called Nigeria

It waxes hot and lethal

Like a drug-defying malaria

 

 

You help rig the polls

At the Emperor’s behest

Yes, you help rig the polls

At the Emperor’s behest

Suborn the Army, pollute the Police

And grab your reward and feather your nest  

 

 

The dirtier the deed

The higher the prize

Say, the dirtier the deed

The higher the prize

The Nation’s hallowed creed

Is a litany of lies

 

 

The Minister looted the Treasury

And received a GCFR

Haba! The Minister looted the Treasury

And received a GCFR

His/her Pastor praised the Lord

For the big, undetected robbery

 

 

Will the  Emperor  buy the votes

With his endless chest of  dollars?

Asking, will he  buy the votes

With his chest of countless dollars?

There is nothing beyond purchase

In a land of venal crawlers

 

*Dash: ‘tip’ in Nigerian English

**Eewo!: abomination!

 

 

                           Niyi  Osundare

 

 

 

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