EndSars protest, Lagos

A poem by Tayo Aluko on the End Sars movement

“Arise O compatriots / Nigeria’s call obey.”
They sat on the tarmac
In their demand for change
Their voices rang out in unison
“The labour of our heroes past/
Shall never be in vain..”

Then the bullets flew,
The singing stopped and
Young hearts were stilled
In a repeat of heinous crimes
From a century before
When the shooters were white
And the spoils, the very soil
Into which fresh new blood now seeped.

Petitions went overseas
To where new enslavers and imperialists
repeatedly demonstrate
that white lives matter more,
even now.

With looters on high
Arming hoodlums below
Wherever we look on the globe,
and peaceful voices silenced once more
what hope for generations behind?

The certainty that the stillness
Will last only a moment,
that the movement, the voices
Of the youthful heroes
Will rise again,
That their compatriots’ blood
Was not shed
in vain.

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