The poet sends messages to all political leaders and other leaders in Nigerian society on how they use force to hijack political powers and control the mass forces. The poet points out their stubborn and obdurate hearts. They are not easily influenced to do the right things. They are stiff-necked because of their nature of self-centeredness. The researchers may learn more so that they may be able to appreciate and analyze the poems.
I bow before you, the goggled infantry
General of the past
Obstinate grasshoppers of the old
I bow for your lion heart and iron fists
Yee! I bow before you
The author of the electoral robber of my past state
I tremble for dazzling electorates
With magical figures
And mysterious victories
Ye pa! I bow before you
The founder of do-or-die politics
Your messengers are here with AK 47
And armed with horrible weapons
And charms during elections
I bend down steadily for you
The Akitikori of all judicial slogans
For daring dispersion of justice
You allow your conscience to be
Bought when you sold justice to the
I bow before you
The Ajantala of my past state for your episodes on air
Tanks and pipes, glittering electricity
In our homes and streets
Foreign investors of no means standing
All these you claim
Before your majesty’s eyes
I remain in a bow for the rest steam in your struggles
Long live cradle, long live the king
Remember, your masquerade is soon human
And will be tired one day.
Briefs of the Poem
The poet satirizes the politicians in Nigerian society. Satire is a literary work that ridiculously corrects errors in society. The writer uses satire to cleverly expose the follies and vices of society and also criticizes the bad practices that pervade our present society.
He reveals their wickedness pre-election, during the election, and post-election. The poet bows and trembles at their wicked and brutal acts. The poet struggles against the idea of do-or-die politics in this country.
The poet sends messages to all political leaders and other leaders in Nigerian society on how they use force to hijack political powers and control the mass forces.
The poet points out their stubborn and obdurate hearts. They are not easily influenced to do the right things. They are stiff-necked because of their nature of self-centeredness.
These calibers of people use force to win elections. They deprived electorates of their rights to willingly vote. They know how to manipulate their victories with mysterious figures.
They send their gangs to polling units with weapons to intimidate voters and scare them away. Before you know it, the voting boxes would have been taken away.
The poet also addresses the judicial practitioners and how they usually sell their conscience to Nigeria’s wealthy men and strong people. He warns against injustice.
It poet satirizes the political leaders, especially the past leaders in his state about fake information on air concerning electricity, pipe water, foreign investors, etc.
Theme of power
The theme of power is depicted in the poem. The poet explains how many leaders, especially political leaders abuse the power extreme on the throne. The power to rule, the power to dominate, the power to cheat, the power to kill, the power to destroy, the power to mislead, the power to assume the throne by all means, the power to win elections by all means, the power to oppress the masses, the power to embezzle public funds, etc.
Theme of violence
Violence is many and active in many countries, especially in African countries. The poet points to this nation as one of the countries that are violent and riotous during elections. Certain parties will want to want to acquire the seats by all means. If they discover that they will not be favored, tense violence will begin.
Theme of injustice
The poem portrays how injustice has pervaded this country. The nation is full of dispersion of injustice because of money. The political leaders and leaders in positions of authority are corrupt. They oppress the masses because they have a say higher than ordinary citizens. They use all their power to dominate justice in law the court and may go to any length to entice and corrupt law agents. The poet also points to lawyers and judges and he is not happy with how they disperse justice to the highest bidders and put the masses in trouble.
The theme of do-or-die politics
The poet sees the politics of this country as do-or-die politics. Every party wants to win the elections by all means; every candidate wants to assume the seat by all means. You will see the two or more parties face atomic weapons and others fight, wound, even, and kill one another. They will begin to disturb the peace of society during the campaign. Not only this, but instead of losing, they begin to steal the election boxes during elections. Many of them still influence the INEC functionaries to come out with fake electoral figures and fake winner announcements.
Theme of greed for money and position
Too much greed for money and position has made this country deteriorating. Many people want quick money and desire positions by all means. This makes them misbehave to do evil in evil to get the money or get to that position. This is one of the factors that prompted the poet to write the poem to correct the errors.
The poet satirizes the political leaders who are deceiving people on the air and in places about what they claim they have done but they have not done anything. Many of them are full of lies. They claim the all social amenities they have provided in many areas in the country but when you get the places, hardly should you find one.
Language and Poetic Devices
The poem is a satire in which the poet exposes the vices and follies of the political leaders and law agents in humorous manners.
Stanzas and lines
The poem has 31 lines.
The poet is unhappy and confused about the attitudes of political leaders toward the masses during elections. The poet sees the attitude as one that is bad.
The poet uses local vocabulary to explain and qualify certain people. Those words are coined from the local language such as Yoruba. Those words are “Akitikori” and “Ajantala”. The two mentioned words mean “deceivers”.
Figures of Speech
The poet makes use of metaphors such as “Obstinate grasshoppers of the old,”(line 3), “The founder of do-or-die politics” (line 11), “The author of the electoral robber of my abode” (line 6), “The Ajantala of my land, (line 21), “The Akitikori of all judicial slogan” (line 16)
The poet makes use of irony in which he says the opposite of his intentions. The irony can be feasibly traced from lines 21 to 26.
The poet makes use of sarcasm in which he cleverly comments on the bitter attitude of the politicians and other people in positions of authority.
The poet makes use of alliterative words such as “The founder of do-or-die politics, “d” alliterates (line 11), “Long live cradle, long live king, “l” alliterates (line 29)
The poet makes use of repetitions such as “I bow” (lines 1, 4, 5, 10, 20, 26), “Long live” (line 29)
Idiom and Proverb
The poet makes use of idioms and proverbs such as “Your masquerade is soon human”.
Word List and Meanings
Iron fist: Hard heart
Ajantala, Akitikori: Nigerian (Yoruba) slangs to mean cruel people
1. Develop the satirical comments of the poet.
2. Explain any five themes identified in the poem.
3. Describe the imagery and tropes of the poem.
4. What do you think will be the consequence of the wicked in the poem?