Kaduna Sharia Riot (February 2000)

in #poetry2 years ago


Initially, the morning showed nothing unusual
As the dew cleared
Except a horde of human heads -
An intimidating presence
Streaming along the street
With a "no-light" signal to Sharia law

It was not the usual hurly-burly
Rather, a bottled up lethal anger
Previously unknown
Paid a devastating visit

The precursor - a locust -
A Lucifer-inspired migrating locust
Jumping from branch to branch
Voraciously ate up -
Root to bud -
The wisdom bearing tree

Little attention was paid earlier on
Because locust was a known visitor

But, as the wisdom bearing tree gave way
The town went on a crazy gyration
Of self destruction -
A cascade of decades of hatred,
Tons of aged-long mutual suspicion
And a turn coat pretentious tolerance
Danced naked in the sun

The darkest evil
Buried in men's heart over the years
Ignited fire that spared none -
High and low
Saints and sinners

While flames reached skyscraper tops
Smoke delivered evil tidings
To the bewildered heavens
Places of worship became furnaces
As fume from properties eclipsed the sun

Baptism in fire followed jungle justice
Friendship of many years became invalid
Parents abandoned children halfway
Preserving self was the target

Fighters claimed serving the Omnipotent -
Fighting for God yet, fighting God
Or, can we explain -
Destroying God's image in God's name?

After dining with the devil
Two thousand lives sacrificed to an unknown god
In welcoming the magic year, 2000

After the tidal violence receded to the evil sea
Rumours, undiluted lies and fear
Became epidemic, ravaging the mind
You must cure yourself
To survive the war's aftereffects

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