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Oil Wails

(Port Harcourt, January 2016. For the fear of “educated militancy”)

The price I pay for peace is too great, the price I pay is a disgrace
Do I, wail my wails to the whales,
or listen to your fairy tales?

I am here, carrying my file to join every file,
searching for ghostly jobs.

You say I am not schooled,
but I stand before you a Master: Master of Papers.

Tell me why,
I should not buy a gun, and swap it for monthly pay?
Or should I rather,
give back the guns you shared
in the creeks during your campaign?
If Ebi, good Ebi, is paid as a militant, why shouldn’t I be?

The price I pay for peace is too great, the price I pay is a disgrace
Do I, stand still and watch,
like Rio’s lifeless Jesus?

Dagogo is there, building his third mansion,
with a white man’s ransom.

You know that this Delta is ill,
yet I stand before you, a Doctor: Doctor of Coloured Papers.

Tell me why,
I should not cook sweet crude, so that Mama could eat food?
Or should I rather,
close my eyes though I saw you,
shutting the chiefs’ mouths with Naira notes?
If a battalion, armed battalion guards one expatriate, why shouldn’t they me?

The price I pay for peace is too great, the price I pay is a disgrace
Because I, wail my wails to the whales
as you own all the oil wells

My brothers are here, killing themselves with your gun
My kinsmen are now on the run

You think I am fooled,
But I stand before you a Freeman, free from all your deceit!

Tell me why,
I should not torment the creeks, as our rivers have no more fish?
Or should I rather,
sing your praise in the streets
because you promised to make me rich?
If a bullion van, armoured bullion van
price my free speech, why shouldn’t I decline?

Written by: Effiong Samuel

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