The Victory of Evil?

By Remi Oyeyemi

“When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations……When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

- President John F. Kennedy on October 26, 1963 at Amherst College, Massachussets.

Glancing around me

Sordid is what stares at me

Despondent I can't help but be

So discouraged never have I been

As I peeped into the horizon

So easy it is to discern

Prancing around unencumbered

Is the joyous Evil

Triumphantly bouncing across the land.

Evil is not just joyous

Evil is wildly celebrating

Stomping its deleterious feet cockily

On the dead soldiers of good

While the truth guards are comatose

Inebriated in their numbing stupor

Unable to resist the well armed soldiers of Evil

With an air of invulnerability

His environment, Evil arrogantly surveys

Astonished at the feat accomplished

Amazed at the ingrained beautiful carnage.

Delirious in their triumph, enamoured by their leader

The soldiers of Evil began a sudden rendition:

“All hail the Godfather!”

“All hail the Godfather!!”

“All hail the Godfather!!!”

Evil has vanquished the Good

Foot mat of Evil, Good has become

Right cowers at the sight of might

At the sniff of ineptitude, rectitude dithers

Honesty recoils at being honed

To great odium, hard work was put

As shrapnel of poseurs permeate the polity.

On the throne, Evil sits

In its splendor and majesty

On its right and left, its chieftains flanked

Ensconced in glowing regalia of guilefulness

Corruption, fraud, theft, laziness, greed, deceit

Lies, shamelessness, kleptomania, impunity

All flouting their new found power

While in their own indulgence, they revel.

The dregs are now the new pegs

Signposts to the new mess

Gonging for the inglorious goons

The advent of a new moral order

Heralding the victory of Evil

The triumph of falsehood

Indicating the harrowing defeat of Good

The odious crippling of rectitude

Open torment of integrity; and

Agonizing conspicuous disgrace of dignity

The Evil's moral order is simple

Vice it brings as Virtue

Forgery camouflaged as forthright

Dictatorship it deodorizes as Democracy

Mercantilism as Progressivism

Scallywags as Saviours

Scoundrels as Saints

Scamps as Stars.

Evil's formidable forces

Well oiled, marshaled and organized

New moral order, determined are they to enforce

The clime they infest with crime

Evil's cretins fermenting as vermin

Looting unencumbered in peace time

Maiming the morals of the critical mass

Dispossessing the people with strokes of pen

To the power of Evil, big thanks

Out of our clime, it has caused

Integrity to take flight

For cover, dignity has dived

So deep, sincerity has sunk

Chastity is thoroughly chastised

Honour, hounded to hiatus

To tatters, etiquette is thoroughly torn.

In this Yoruba Nation of ours

In this our land of Oodua

On these hallowed grounds of ours

Conscripted in a contraption called Nigeria

How did it come to pass?

Where did we go wrong?

How did we miss the signs?

How did this happen?

This Victory of Evil?

How is it possible

On this hallowed grounds

Where Moremi once sacrificed for the Nation

Where Sodeke once strived for independence

Where Basorun Ogunmola once demonstrated valiance

Where Ogedengbe Agbogungboro once defended his people

Where Ishola Fabunmi Oke-Mesi once insisted on self-determination

Where Kunrunmi and Latoosa were once Field marshals

Where Seriki Ogunsigun of Ijebu-Igbo once spilled his blood

In defence of Ile-Ife, the Source of Yoruba virility.

How did this happen?

This Victory of Evil

On this hallowed grounds

Of great Kings, Nobles, Chiefs and Warriors

Where once marched the Great Obafemi Awolowo

With his all conquering visionary army

Of patriots and seminal administrators

To restore the pride and glory of our people

And reinstate the dignity, honour and hope of our people

How did we get to this point?

Where unabatedly across Yoruba land

Evil and its foot soldiers are celebrated

How did we come to accept

Lies, lies and lies

Falsehood, fraud and effrontery

Mediocrity, mendacity and hocus-pocus

As moral parallels of dignity, integrity

Honesty and sincerity of purpose.

In the days of yore

The leaders who led and set the pace

Men of character they were

Their dignity they valiantly vaunted

Their integrity they jealously guarded

Their people, culture, tradition and heritage

Were covetously protected

While allowing the dynamics of change

Take its constructive and positive toll

Organized and orderly society, they still maintained.

Mass media is midwifing miasma

Securing sepulchral solace to the marauders

The intelligentsia is in intermission

Crippled and corralled into collaboration

Human Rights activists are deactivated

Civil Society, soiled in its marshy morass

All lured into love of filthy lucre

Signifying the dearth of conscience

Evil is confidently strutting the land

Its soldiers arrayed against the hopes of our people

Secured in the efficacy of ill-gotten wealth as its weapon

So sure that everyone has got a price

In this period of anomie, especially and particularly

Buying up everyone that is buy-able

Mauling anyone that is maul-able

Recalibrating the destiny of any recalcitrant

Standing in its evil path.

All the sages of old

Through the stages of History

All the philosophers of now

Molding the here and now

And all the seekers of nigh

Paving the path to pace

All the faiths of the earth

Believe, agree and teach

That Evil will never overcome good.

But now, this is not it and now it is not so

Evil seems victorious, its soldiers prowling all over

Yet if they are right, and so they must be

All these sages, philosophers, seekers and faiths

Then this victory of Evil

In this land of Oodua, nay this Nigeria

Can only be akin to that of Pyrrhus'

That King of Epirus over the Romans in 280 BC

No more, no less!

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”

- John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961