Dear Nepa

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August 16, 2019
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Dear Nepa,

I write this under lantern light,

Not because I have twenty-twenty sight,

Nor that I like to strain my eyes,

But because as always

You are exerting your almighty authority

Over the nation’s electric power.

Dear Nepa,

You may wonder why I could not tarry

For daylight before writing you;

Blame me not- I had to cast off my mind,

Weighty thoughts about you,

And what better time to communicate

Than when your presence is ever nigh.

Dear Nepa,

I overhead some citizens in a Dugbe-bound bus

Discussing you during the hour of rush;

Well, it was actually more like a tirade,

A lot of mud was thrown at you,

Very dirty, stinking garbage;

And someone even said you are beyond discussion.

Dear Nepa,

There was rancour over your acronym;

Mallam Duba said it meant “never expect power always”;

But, Mazi Chukwurah said that was archaic,

That it means, “never expect power at all” these days.

I could not disagree because nowadays,

Electric power is a blue moon.

Dear Nepa,

The grumbles rumbled like thunder

And there was no silver lining in the ashen clouds.

Citizen Saka had a complaint bitter than ‘goro’

Of how you have converted his one room apartment

To a baking oven for ceaseless serenades

And love-bites from vexatious anopheles.

Dear Nepa,

I hope you are not fed up yet

For there is more to come.

Madam aAmina sang songs of woe,

About spoiled foods wasted in these sappy sad times,

And Ogbuefi Alagba griped on and on

About damaged machinery and industrial losses.

Dear Nepa,

The torrent of discontent gushed on

And the chord of my heart was filled for you,

Not because I disagreed with my fellow passengers,

But, that out of the cavernous calabash of cacophony

I could not distil a drop of hope

Or word in your favour.

Dear Nepa,

I decided therefore to let you know about this,

Redundant though it may sound,

In the hope that you might glow for the better.

I wonder, did a lizard perhaps, run over your cables?

Or maybe we’ve been blessed with too many rains

And Kainji’s cup has run over?

Dear Nepa,

More was said, but I shall be done for now,

My lantern is flickering, the kerosene is drying,

And beads of sweat are coalescing

Into steady streams from my head down my spine.

I do hope you condescend to give us some light

So we can sleep well tonight.

Goodnight

Sweatingly and gropily,

Citizen Sapped.

Author – Lampe Omoyele

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