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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Sweatingly and gropily,
Author – Lampe Omoyele