Friday, 10 June 2016


by Rita Oziegbe

“This earth is
Ours to work not to waste
Ours to man not to main
This earth is ours to plough, not to plunder”

This very last verse of Niyi Osundare’s poem “Ours to plough and not to plunder” during my secondary school days kept ringing in my head as I rode to work thinking of my beloved country, its many riches and the irony of what it has become today. Mother Earth is forced to drink the blood of her children, her beautiful clothes of rich green grasses and trees of various kinds with sweet smelling flowers has turned into rags from oil spills, refuse dumps, decomposing corpse, flood and the numerous destruction from the various bombing activities of different  groups.
Why do we bring so much shame to her, why do we turn ourselves who are her children into instruments of her pain. Even God himself weeps at the sight of what she has become. Nigeria, we used to be Africa’s pride, her giant, her beauty, her glory…… Where are these now... All of them, we have traded and for what? Greed, pride and covetousness. Our home land which is supposed to provide refuge and succor has turned into large mouths of scary pits that swallow us. Did I hear you ask “where are the elders?”……. Of course we have them, but they themselves are the reason for our downfall. They were to lead us to greatness but instead they lead us to perdition, they were to guide us but they seem confused themselves, they were to care for us but they neglect us, caring for themselves and their pockets. The youths they say are the leaders of tomorrow but they have turned us into thugs, thieves, assassins and all sorts of evil machineries.

God have mercy! For our beloved land weeps, she begs for restoration of all her lost glories, she begs us to put a smile back on her face. Stop the killing for the lives we have lost can never be regained. Stop the oil spills for Mother Earth longs to be adorned once again with flowers and rich vegetation. Stop the bombing for it is taking us no where rather we are retrogressing as a nation. STOP! STOP!! STOP!!!........ THIS EARTH IS OURS TO PLOUGH AND NOT TO PLUNDER!!!!

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