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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Spoken Word Rhyme - Is It Nothing To You? By Hannatu Musawa


Columnist: 
Hannatu Musawa
On 6th April 2014, The All Progressives Congress held a Summit in Abuja where the party used the occasion to present the parties roadmap to a New Nigeria. In other words, it was a forum where the party wanted to enlighten Nigerians of a manifesto that would afford the country with a revitalising new future.
During the summit, I had written a ‘Spoken Word’ poetry, and joined it with a poetry piece that I had written in the past, which I had wanted to deliver at the event. However, my idea had come late and by the time I suggested making the presentation, the itinerary for the event had already been put in place, leaving no room for my presentation. In all fairness to the organisers of the event, they had tried all they could to include my presentation, but the lack of time made it impossible for me to finish the presentation in its entirety, which I had already started. Unfortunately, I had to cut the presentation short and was unable to finish.
However, because I felt it was a very powerful message that I was trying to make, I wanted to recreate the piece via this forum so that people could understand why I felt so strongly about the message that I wanted to give. Below is a full copy  of the Spoken Word Speech I intended to give.

SPOKEN WORD RHYME- IS IT NOTHING TO YOU?
“To get right to the point today, there is a small game that I would like for you all to play it’s called, “Is this Country nothing to you?”
Or to put it another way, “how many of us in this room can earnestly say with a nod, that they are here at this summit for the love of country and God?”
…For most of us that game will probably not last very long, like a banging on a gong our people say “what’s wrong with our leaders today? And the song goes on and on, but the song being sung is one that has been sung for long.
For as long as our mind remembers, we have been surrounded by the same leadership members.
Despite our sheer hunger and poverty, those older generations still maintain their sovereignty.
But to be honest, I’m rather tired of placing all the blame on them and not us. So I’m here to suggest that part of the problem, is the youth who continue to make such a fuss.
The leaders, the elites, the privileged bourgeoisie, shall continue to trample on the likes of you and me!
At this point you may not like what I say; it may give you much dismay.
But please give me a second to explain, if you get what I mean, you may drop your disdain.
You see in Nigeria, the youth of today would rather live by luck, because they see a current system where the cancer has become too stuck.
If I stand hear before you and tell you that I’ve never done anything wrong in my life…! Be honest, wouldn’t you truly say “Haba Hanney, what the fu…..fudge.”
But doesn’t that mean that you’re too quick to judge?
You never budge or give me a positive nudge?
And if that’s the perception, that we are so full of pride,
Perhaps it’s time each and every one of us took a look inside,
And try to reclaim the selflessness we have read in history books,
The dedication of our forefathers, that spirit within their looks.
Once upon a time in this nation, our leaders, possessed humility and a sense of political self;
The kind where people mingled, with every tribe without putting suspicion at the top of their shelf.
They touched lepers, gave much encouraging, loved and played with every child despite their place of origin.
Everyone in this room, please take a second and consider just how many  opportunities our fore fathers had to make millions;
Opportunities which had they taken, would have secured them with billions.
If any of our fore fathers were to choose a team to save us from where we are hanging,
I can bet they’d have a hard time because our integrity has a low standing.
Those who have raped this country, gather to discuss how to distribute her wealth,
How to manipulate her system and leave her in bad health.
It doesn’t matter that they may not have the capability or quality to uphold the sanctity of the post,
It doesn’t matter that they are short changing 160 million whom are suffering most.
The only thing that they choose to see is the only thing that they will see.
And you know what? ….Their vision is certainly not of you or me.
But now again, I will implore you to forgive me, it’s not only them with these shortcomings.
I’m here to suggest that most of us in this room have been part of that bad pluming.
Not only in the past have we endeared and encouraged them,
We have been part of the causal link that empowers what we now condemn.
Again folks, you must bear with me, Please give me a minute to explain ….
Do not crucify me, till you hear my full campaign.

You see it is clear that you leaders must play your part,
In giving the next generation, messages straight from your heart.
Your message shouldn’t be a billboard or rhetoric of should and should-nots!
It should be a living, breathing art piece of where exactly we need to join the dots.
I’m not trying to be harsh and I’m not trying to be condemning to my own side,
I’m just suggesting that as progressives in our political journey; let’s invite Nigerians along for the ride.
Let’s look to share before we look to teach and maybe just maybe people will understand more what we preach.
Let us make our intention for the country more attractive, by using this APC manifesto in a way that it’s interactive!
We need the dedication and spirit of the likes that Ghandi and Mandela had in their struggle.
It’s that authentic dedication, faith and patriotism that can get us out of our muddle.
If we choose to exist with that kind of authenticity, we’ll look at our nation objectively, not through the eyes of ethnicity.
No more can we point a finger at somebody else, and blame a third party for this ruddy mess.
It is now up to us, we can choose our own destiny, by being cerebral as a mark of our weaponry.
If you think it can’t be done, then take a trip to Lagos, Where Governor Fashola has transformed it into Vegas.
If you need more convincing, then Kano should be your State. There you’ll see Kwakwasiya has done that ancient city great.
Then who can forget Owelle, he inherited a bush, but one trip to Owerri will show you his great push.
Now I hope that you have heard my view of what I think is right. I’m speaking in what I believe in, not trying to start a fight.
I believe that as a party, we can do what we know is right, because we cannot be as blind as those whom we’re trying to give sight.
To create our own success, we must not be afraid to create opportunity,
That’s the greatest way we can restore Nigeria’s dwindling unity.
As well-meaning Nigerians we must know what we want, the time has run out to become nonchalant.
The time must be now for us to climb to the peak, to attain what we couldn’t because our divide made us weak.
Whatever will happen we must look up to God, he Giveth and Taketh with merely a nod.
We must increase faith, boost our love and our fear, be sincere and revere and adhere to persevere.
We must believe in this nation and love it unconditionally, keep our ethos, our culture and our virtues traditionally.
Nigeria is beautiful, our homeland is glorious. She’s known internationally as somewhat notorious.
Her children are maimed as somewhat inglorious, but in truth for 5 decades she has been laborious.
And with help from above she can be meritorious, so our nation can rise and at last be victorious.
All that I have spoken of is about passion and a belief that’s true. And I started by asking “Does this country mean nothing to you?”
IS IT NOTHING TO YOU…?

Is it nothing to you that our dear children cry;
That they sigh and they die in the blink of an eye?
From hunger to strife to a life that’s awry,
Nigeria’s kids can barely scrape by!
Is it nothing to you that the world asks us why;
We belie a potential that limits the sky?
Whereby, we misapply our abundant supply.
We pry and we lie like the alpha bad guy!
Is it nothing to you that our nation can’t fly;
From the depths of destruction, to a renewable high?
As I scribble these words through my tear filled eye,
This beautiful land is on the verge of goodbye!
Is it nothing to you that we cannot comply;
That we have no ally, we’re on virtual standby?
Nigeria must vie to defy this war cry.
Revert back to basics, renew our strong tie!

______***______

Is it nothing to you that your officers steal?
A classic example is the Malibu Deal!
The wheel given Tompolo is just too surreal;
And the Fuel Subsidy bandits are the greatest reveal!
Is it nothing to you that bribery’s not ideal?
When brown envelopes are used to spin bogus spiel?
After the kafuffle of trying to get Oduah dumped,
Johnny had to let go when his wish became defunct!
Is it nothing to you that we do see your zeal;
In killing the Subsidy Report in a blatant repeal.
You just want to seal all the crime that is real,
The trillions that’s pilfered for the cabal’s sumptuous meal!
Is it nothing to you your achievements are nil?
That the genteel you are ruling have a bad ordeal.
The steel of this government has began to peel,
But for the sake of our future, Nigeria must heal!

______***______

Is it nothing to you that you bomb-suicide;
Whole families in the worshiping house they preside?
When you decide to collide where mass people reside,
In order to kill them; you’re devils personified!
Is it nothing to you that your faith must have died,
When you misuse our religion with your much warped misguide?
The words of the Scripture speak of peace side-by-side.
The words of the Scripture speak of love, patience abide!
Is it nothing to you that your troops cannot hide;
From the extra-judicial killings that the JTF applied?
In their stride, innocent bodies have piled nation-wide.
They’re as bad as the terrorists, worse than Jekyll and Hyde!
Is it nothing to you other interests do hide;
Behind Boko-Haram, commit crime to divide?
Not all of the killings, the bombings or snide;
Come from one source or have a single guide!
______***______

Is it nothing to you that your airlines are old;
And millions of Nigerians fly in your coffin mould?
You mortgage our lives to gain abundant Fools-Gold.
You patch up bad airplanes that are second-hand sold!
Is it nothing to you that you must uphold;
A global wide standard for airlines controlled?
All the vessel’s information that you do withhold;
Must be given to the public to see and behold!
Is it nothing to you that those out in the cold;
Are the victims who survived when the Dana Air rolled?
Their houses were bowled; they lost all in a fold.
When to get compensation; they have still not been told!
Is it nothing to you that our options are outsold?
If we had travel by sea or rail, we’d feel much more bold.
The aviation industry must of itself get a-hold;
So Nigerians can fly feeling safe and consoled!

______***______

Is it nothing to you that you contest elections;
By tugging and pulling on people’s affections?
Now you’ve made your connections and are in government sections,
The hoard that supported you are part of your rejections!
Is it nothing to you that most have objections;
Of the amount that you make from your official collections?
Your allowance and the extra fund injections,
Is an affront to a society with little confections!
Is it nothing to you that from all our reflections;
INEC, you’re not independent in your past selections?
The interjections and protections of INEC’s predilections,
Have exposed their addictions and Jega’s imperfections!
Is it nothing to you that we can change the complexions;
Of our future government by making corrections?
2015 is coming, let’s use wise directions;
To put into power those who give good projections!

______***______

Is it nothing to you that you sell our land short?
When you travel abroad to distort our sort?
All over the World our passport does import;
419 and scams, scarlet ladies, drugs snort!
Is it nothing to you in Chinese jails, in court?
Nigerian’s are plenty for the crimes they export.
They beat some; they kill some, a few they deport.
It’s sad that our people don’t abort this contort!
Is it nothing to you that you rob and you thwart?
Our freedom, our peace by your constant extort?
Kidnappers and robbers, crime is your blood sport;
You’ve resort our homes as quite an unsafe forte!
Is it nothing to you that we have no support?
The world looks at us as a joke, as a wart.
We must pull together; focus our exhort;
To clean up our act; bring our crime down to naught!

______***______

Is it nothing to you when you berate so much hate;
On another tribe in Nigeria, it creates a debate?
North, South, East, West or Central, we’re from one estate.
One people, one nation who share one single fate!
Is it nothing to you when in blogs you misstate;
An irate dictate that translates to negate?
At the rate we communicate, we can’t interrelate;
We’re like enemies in a vessel just lying in wait!
Is it nothing to you that the poverty weight;
Is on every Nigerian with no discriminate?
If our nations deflate, no tribe should elate.
We’ll all skate to desecrate; I’m telling you straight!
Is it nothing to you that our leaders who ate;
All our money in government are from each ethnic plate?
When they conjugate behind the gate of the Chief of the State;
They don’t think about tribe, only their share in that crate!

______***______

Is it nothing to you, because it’s something to me;
That we’re living in darkness to a constant degree?
NEPA say’s it is working, but it’s real hard to see;
Because the lights are always off. I am sure you’ll agree!
Is it nothing to you, because it’s something to me;
That our people are screaming like senseless banshee?
Many families can’t eat; some can’t even buy tea;
The only one’s living are the elite bourgeoisie!
Is it nothing to you, because it’s something to me;
That our motorways are like craters with earthquake-debris?
I can tell you for free, our roads are no Grand-Prix;
Our maintenance culture’s not as it really should be!
Is it nothing to you, because it’s something to me;
That I’m writing this sonnet with not much “Whoopee”?
My prayer for my nations is renewed esprit.
My wish for Nigeria is for our land to be free!
Is it something to you…? It’s not nothing to me…!


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