November 20, 2019

Akachi Obijiaku

FOR THE LOVE OF OIL

They dig and dig until the streets stink and slip with corruption
Their pockets flow with gold but the community sees no wealth eruption

Villages perish from the pollution in droves
But they brush the children aside and recommend garlic cloves

The militants arrive to protect the resources
But then they grow greedy and rape the local women in the bushes

The Niger Delta has become a battlefield of money and lust
An epitome of sadness coated in lucrative promises and fairy dust

The imperialists roam around with the guards
Causing havoc and happily playing the race card

And the government?
They are a hardly a moral movement

Conscience is all but folklore 
Attempts to demonstrate control are considered a bore

A rogue collusion is what it is
Whilst those at the bottom get feasted on by fleas

Even with the fortunes being excavated
From miles away the desperation of the young can be heard 

It’s a crude war zone where even nursing mothers toil
And people fall on their knees for the love of oil

from Rattle #65, Fall 2019
Tribute to African Poets

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Akachi Obijiaku: “I lived in Nigeria for sixteen years, and then moved to the United Kingdom—where I’ve been for almost six years. What’s quite interesting, and only people who are in my position tend to understand, is how different the various cultures are across the world. Anytime I return to Nigeria, I feel like my time spent abroad was a dream. Everything is so different in Africa. The people, the attitudes, the way of living. Some good, some bad. So, when I write, it’s sort of like telling tales. There’s so much rich material from just watching life happen around you, and most times the stories sound like fiction, but you can’t make some stuff up—it really is surreal.”

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