Interpretation & Review

Butcher Boys

“There is a moral obligation, I think, not to ally oneself with power against the powerless.”
― Chinua Achebe, There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

9am, January of ‘66
the devil in that mob was real.
A coup of 5 Majors – a plot
by ambitious Igbos of the East
to dismantle democracy – a disguise.

With matchsticks and gasoline, machetes and daggers
lootin’, slittin’ guts, burnin’ homes
choppin’ off limbs, dissectin’ wombs
of young mothers with surgeon precision
birthin’ the unborn without remorse.

“It’s a riot! It’s a tit for tat!”
Those butcher boys of Kano
chant and chant and chant.
Their unrighteous vengeance contagious
its infection urged on kiths and kins:

“There’s an Nzeogwu in every Easterner
they don’t wear our birthmarks
look the way Northerners should
nor worship the way a Muslim ought to
they’re good for slaughter, they’re Biafrans”.

When will Nigeria be everyone’s native land?
Who’ll restrict these Butcher boys to justice?

Copyright © 2019. Ugo Nkwoala. All rights reserved.

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