Lagos Jungle Blues, 1984

A party all around the city and we had partied hard
We walked through the army barracks, the signals
It had been all guarded by the juntas
Guns can be seen all around their shoulders
Waiting for orders and the last command
It breezed in when we all had gone to sleep
We had expected the president's new year message
It never came,
Martial music had filled the air waves
Up and in much anticipation, we had guessed
The possibilities of the military juntas
Wrestling power from the people, again
Civilians had begun to celebrate and,
Chants welcoming the juntas filled the air;
The president and the 2nd Republic
Had been toppled

The mood was one full of uncertainties
The juntas only wanted to make the people blue
The khaki boys announced why they took power
A widespread scandals of bribery and corruption
And a nation overwhelmed by disobedient
And reckless, bloody civilians
A one-star general had announced on the radio
Proclaiming dictatorship and absolute power
A new head of the juntas popped up
With chopped up measures and decrees
Which destroyed all aspects of civil liberties
And had become the order of the day and time
I was not really worried of Totalitarianism
Because I had not played any part in either
Of the military and civilian administration
To be charged for any wrongdoing

It was business as usual with no prohibition
Life was very normal and didn't make any difference
Only what I witnesed could differ
I saw a killing by firing squad for drug peddling
I saw an artist slammed for carrying alien money
I saw journalists ripped off their pants and caned
I saw people of the media sent to the gulag
And I had seen a slammed for the juntas' leaks
The decrees had been disturbing as
The juntas never stopped harassing the people
People started to disappear inexplicably
Which had made the place spooky
Without changes or any improvements
We could only see a change of hands
Between the military juntas,
And the thieving civilian politicians

They locked up all their subjects
And charged them with all sorts of crimes
Asserting the country had been ruined
By we they called 'bloody civilians'
Making all of us nervous as we panicked
While they duped the people
And raped the treasury empty, and
Institutionalized corruption
With a series of tricks and games
Pushed and shoved it in our face
As we carried the nation's burden
Which they tarnished while we looked bad
Bribery and corruption had continued apace
Even though the juntas said,
They came to set the priorities right
It was all a gimmick, in the long run

---------------------Ambrose Ehirim