POEM OF THE WEEK: THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL POEM BY EFE PAUL AZINO October 23, 2020 – Posted in: Poetry – Tags: , , , , ,

Two weeks ago, young Nigerians in most part of the country took to the streets to protest against SARS  – #ENDSARS. However, rather that the government to listen to the cries of the youths and act on the 5for5 request, they mobilized military men to the Lekki Toll Gate and these military men shot at unarmed protesters. That particular gruesome act, now known as the Lekki Massacre, triggered and spread pain, hurt and violence across the nation. It is in light of the current political climate of the nation that we are sharing this poem with you all. According to Ellawrites, this poem is a poem that will forever find home in Nigeria, as it addresses the issues of democracy and politics In a post truth era. The poet encourages the masses to fight for their rights and prophecies a revolution – a revolution that has already begun with the #ENDSARS movement. The poem is written in satire where the poet calls out these men in the corridors of power but ends up saying it is not a political poem.


“This is not a political poem” is from the book, “For Broken Men Who Cross Often” by Efe Paul Azino.







This is not a political poem.
It’s a poem about life,
about brothers, sisters, peace about strife.
It’s a poem that speaks
about what we go through as a people.
It’s a poem that seeks
to express that all men were once equal,
but some have become more equal than others,
so they loot and plunder,
dip their bowls into our collective purse,
fill their bellies,
and shit on the rest of us.

But this is not a political poem.
It’s a poem about life,
about brothers, about sisters, about peace, about strife.
It’s a poem about outrageous, fictitious budgets,
and the legislators who approve them.
It’s a poem about power, the interest of the people,
and the politicians who confuse them.
It’s a poem I wrote in the grips of emotion,
tears mingling with ink,
a poem I hoped will inspire my listeners to think.
No! Poem I prayed
will drive my listeners, the masses, to rage.
Mobilise them to march against men living in rocks,
against unhallowed chambers where politicians meet,
pretend to make laws, greet, eat,
pick their teeth with our collective destinies
But this is not a political poem,
It’s a revolution, it’s the evolution
Of a people refusing to suffer and smile no more,
a people determined to stand down the facade of a government
and it’s sham democracy,
a people willing to spill blood if need be.




But this is not a political poem,
It’s a poem about life,
about brothers, about sisters, about peace, about strife.
But if peace will cost us truth and justice,
then let it be known
That I’ll rather have strife, I’ll rather wage war.
These folks in Abuja are neither my brothers nor my sisters,
as for the bonds that binds us,
I trust it no more!
So meet me outside after the recital if you’re ready to fight,
get my number, give me a call,
if you’re sick of barking and now ready to bite.
But if they come looking for me Asking about what I said,
sniffing around for treasonable felony Tell them I raved and I ranted
I sang and I chanted
But I did not recite a political poem,
because this is not a political poem,
It’s a poem about life,
about brothers, about sisters, about peace, about strife.



Efe Paul Azino born in Lagos is a Nigerian writer, performance artist and poet, regarded “as one of Nigeria’s leading performance poets.” He has also been regarded as one who has “played a pivotal part in lifting the words from the page and giving them life” in the Nigerian spoken word performance space. He is the founder and director of the Lagos International Poetry Festival, and the director of poetry at the annual Lagos Book and Art Festival. In 2017 Azino was named as one of “the most powerful young persons under the age of 40 who are getting things done in the culture space” by magazine.


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