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POEM: In Brotherhood or In Strife - Opeyemi Agbaje

 Nigeria, we hail thee, our own dear native land

Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand? 
We stand in brotherhood or in strife and conflict?
Are we united in peace and progress or disunited in crises and dysfunction?
Are we building free and equal citizens or a hierarchy of hegemons and the conquered?
Lords and serfs?
Compatriots and colonial subjects?


What are we trying to build?
Are we trying to build? Or tearing down?
What binds us together?
A constitution? A flag? Football? English colonialists?
A lie? A shared vision? A national development strategy?
The labours of our heroes past?
Which heroes? Whose heroes?
Can two or three walk together unless they agree?
Do we walk together? Are we agreed?
What is the destination?

Who are we?
What is our essence? A territory? A country? What defines us?
A map drawn by strangers from England? The white man’s language?
The constitution written by the soldiers?
Were we traded without our knowledge?
What defines us yet?
The national anthem? Which one?
The pledge? Do we still have one?
The giant of Africa? Or Goliath?

Can’t we try to build true greatness?
Can we build an authentic and free union?
Can we build a shared vision of freedom, prosperity and peace?
Can we build real brotherhood, not just say it?
Will ancient delusions of dominion prevent shared prosperity?
Are your delusions greater than our hopes and dreams?
Would you rather tear it all down?
Don’t we all like a free, autonomous, happy and united people developing together?

We can create a new dream
We can build a new vision
Though tribes and tongues may differ,
We can build a nation of diverse people
Though faiths may diverge
We can live together in peace
We can build, we can strive
We can plan, we can produce, we can invest
We can explore, we can succeed
We can thrive.
Or depart each man to his tent in peace.

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