Home Blog Thorny Valentine: A Poem by Solomon Ekoja

Thorny Valentine: A Poem by Solomon Ekoja


An early Christian feast
In honour of saint valentine
Who was brutally martyred
For his stand
Century after century
His legacy stands
Like an iroko tree
Upon the unmovable pebbles
Of Udi hills

In the heart of lovers
His legacy is adored
With red attires
Bound by strong love chords
Caressing the soul

A season of love for many
Except for Nigerians
Which has spiced her sauce creatively
With thistles and thorns
Disguising as fuel and money scarcity

Oh Oloibiri!
How I long for 1958
When explorers played a novelty match
Upon the discovery of petroleum
With promises like honeycombs
The stars glittered glow in hope
But hope melted away
Like the wax
On a midnight candle

I remember the good old days
When our wells overflowed
With pure crude
When we refined at our backyard
To the envy of the Western world
Kit with pruning hooks
To devour our wealth

Warnings upon warnings
On deaf ears they fell
Till our refineries collapsed
To pave way for our oil export
Sold for peanuts
And bought back with hard currency

At the port
Marketers hike prices
In the name of subsidy
Disguised to deceive
The common man

Its midday
But fuel stations are locked
Even without a whip
Everyone’s coordinated
As automobiles line on straight queues
Without a metre rule

After a series of gate banging
Oga appears
With an unperturbed look
He whispers
There’s no fuel
As automobiles scramble for the next station

At sun set
Oga calls his black marketers
For a night dispense
Detrimental to the common man

Across the road
Lines yellow cans
Laden with pms
That can be accessible
Only at hiked prices

At the bank
The ATMs are full
With few dispensing
And many out of network

Unending queues await
The daring Nigerian
Charmed by his needs
But resolved not to linger

To access ones hard earned cash
To settle lovers’ bills
Money trade money
Coz wicked bank managers
Jeopardized the monetary policy
For selfish gain

Five thousand naira
Echoes the POS agent
To get fifty thousand naira

As hunger bites
Below the belt zone
Drum pattern changes
With dancing shoes on
From aboki to meruwa
Uchenna to Chikaodi
And emi lokan
Everyone’s dancing
To this seasons beat

Bankers are locked in
By angry customers
For kidnapping our naira
Despite pleas upon plea
There was no breakthrough
Till security forces intervened
To calm the raging storm

In spite of the aura
Naira and fuel
Partners in crime
Scarce pass argon and neon

To celebrate without stress
And leverage the season
Maximise e-transaction
Avoid unnecessary expenditures
Live within your means
Alternate public transport and cycling
Let’s love purely
Extend help graciously
To ease the yoke and burden
Anchored upon the biscuit scapular
Of helpless Nigerians
In this season


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