Tribes…Omatseye’s poetic reflections on Nigeria

Wed Feb 7th, 2018 - Delta

The poet, also took the readers down memory lane, where he listed some other areas in Nigeria where tribalism and its attendant prejudice showed its ugly head. They include Delta, where the supremacy battle between the Ijaw, Urhobo, and Itsekiri is still raging; the Ife and Modakeke case in Osun that raged for years until peace returned. The actions of the Niger-Delta militants and that of the Boko Haram insurgents are also issues the poet took a second look at.

Other poems include, Strangers Invocation; Asaba Massacre, Girl Bomber; Corruption; Almajiri, Tyranny; Obama in Kenya; Orlando; The Sham I am; For Mohammed Ali; The Immigrant; Evil Pot; Confessions of Executive Rogue; The Statue; The Vultures and others.

In Strangers Invocation, which is dedicated to the late Suzanne Wenger, Omatseye describes his visit to the Osun River with awe and reverence.

In Asaba Massacre,1967, the poet took the reader to the horrendous event or the unreported genocide, the murder of about 1,000 boys and men of Asaba at the wake of the Civil War by soldiers of the Nigerian Army. Was it how it was supposed to be? he asked. “They should have told us/It was not a welcome party/But a farewell/We would have come prepared,” he laments.

Apart from historical events, the poet also had time for some current issues like the Almajiri phenomenon, the Awo statue at Alausa, Lagos and corruption and its effect on the country and others, were given adequate attention in the collection.

Is the poet a Christian or not, this cannot be answered as the poet had words for people that believe in witchcraft and how they operate in Evil Pot, and at the same time, affirming the supremacy of God in another poem, Kaleidoscope.

It was not all about woes and woes, some glorious moments such as the victory in the Under 17 World Cup Final in 2015 was also celebrated in the poem, A Mexican Tear.

In his comments about the collection, Executive Editor of TheNews/PM News, Kunle Ajibade describes it as “passionate, honest, descriptive, lyrical and reflective.”




source: Vanguard