EKWUMEKWU :There is no Small War (Centenary poem)


QUIET in solid state of solitude
When colored invaders and raiders arrived
Power pressed on in this solitude
Trumped a way of life unknown and enforced
Demand compromise without a bargain
This they reject
Dawn of strife
Dawn of Ekwumekwu

His Royal Majesty versus other Royal Majesties
Can Royal majesty be imposed
Agha nwa ngwele ama nne
Spread across Enuani
Irredentism hot blood flows
Young men across the landscape
Jerking shaking quaking
Ndi Oyibo gana, chorus

Market with her majesty is a violation
Court system denunciated
Oyibo schools are deception centers
Becomes a temptation for their demolition
Power of village slaves over their masters a diminution
Sacred groves and beliefs in devastation
Pristine solitude broken
Peace becomes a chimera

Fire power, cannon power are her majesty power
Power in powerlessness over the people for decades
His majesty ascendancy is the new power
Massive power against guerrilla power
Unending dog fight
Making other nations advance ahead of the war zone
Government secondary schools not built
Losers in war, losers in education
Ndi Oyibo gana – Europeans must go

Saboteurs’ alignment and misalignments
Inheritors, beneficiaries emerging
Sitting on the fence is sitting on nothing
Head you loose, tail you loose
Society in perpetual fear
Ekwumekwu onomatopoeic shrill
Filled with eerie feel
Till peace go nil

Who loose
Prisoners of war at Asaba
Sick dying prisoners to Calabar
Unstable court and imperial school system
In Asaba hinterland

Assertion of power incubates struggles
Balance of power is not without consequences
But war is a loosing game
Both for victors and vanquished
As there is no small war

Ekwumeku secret societies prohibition
How many millennials know your war theatres
Prisoners of war interrogation centres
Prison notes of illiterate prisoners in Calabar prisons
How many returned to the
Location where Oyibo – Crewe Read was shot dead
To retell the kind of suffocation in colonial incarceration

If parents don’t know
How can they remember, tell their children
About the road to Ekwumeku
How can they know and remember
That these men were not cowards
as some impugn
Build monument of the mind for them

A War before Biafran war and Python dance
Where the old man shakes his head in disgust
Grinds his teeth
Sighs uya gami uya godo
“There is no small war”

Chronicle of Ekwumeku war has been done by Professors Igbafe, Tamuno, Onwuajeogwu and other scholars. This poetic device is to make it easier for Millennials to read in few words about this epic war that was a watershed in Anglo – Anioma relations. Originally written 7/03/09 during the decade of the centenary.