Achebe Mourns Nigeria
By Chudi Okoye
October 27, 2023
It looks indeed as if God Himself, like a Vengeful Creditor, wants to deny this country any respite or Civil Peace.
It feels truly as if it is the Beginning of the End. Everywhere in this land, even as you look, Things Fall Apart at a frightening pace.
Our hassled leader is lurking in his tasseled chambers, haunted by his tousled past and by opponents with whom he tussled. He pops out now and again, still pretending to be A Man of the People, to spin yet another yarn, telling us – who are mourning – that it is Morning Yet on Creation Day.
But no longer can we hide the truth! The Arrow of God is now upon this land, and we are No Longer at Ease. There is upheaval everywhere, The Old Order in Conflict with the New. You have, even now, Girls at War, and the masses used merely as The Sacrificial Egg.
All of us are indeed walking on a Dead Men’s Path; so, I urge you, Beware Soul Brother!
The Trouble With Nigeria is that it won’t admit it has become the epitome of Africa’s Tarnished Name, a faded country where existence feels like Home and Exile both at the same time.
It feels here today as hopeless as Christmas in Biafra, our hearts eager but our means meagre; our lives laden with plight but the gods seemingly in flight.
Speaking of Biafra! No longer can this fact be denied: The restless ghost of the ‘Vanquished’ is clearly haunting the ‘Victor’, the latter unable to turn victory into meaningful progress.
It is the infernal dance of the bird and the rope. Or, as our wise ancestors long warned, the spectre of the exhausted aggressor tangled aground with his subdued victim.
Indeed, as much for Biafra as for Nigeria, we can now erect a mournful epitaph that says: There Was a Country.
(Compositional Note: I have used the titles of various works by the great Chinua Achebe, titles italicized in this prose poem, to weave my narrative. All copyrights acknowledged.)