Poetry

THE SPEECH OF OCCUPY NIGERIA’S DAY | A Revised Version by Ayo Sogunro

(With apologies to William Shakespeare)

Driving, I picked a young man by the way
And he told me of Occupy Nigeria’s Day
The rousing speech that launched the fray
And sprang the folks that fought that day

“If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
Allah’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

“He who has no stomach for this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be speedy,
And money for his ticket put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company

“This day is called the day of Occupy Nigeria
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named
And rouse him at the cry of Occupy!

“He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on this eve feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is the Anniversary.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had from Occupy Nigeria.’

“Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Femi Kuti, Funmi Iyanda, Femi Falana,
Dino Melaye, Tunde Bakare, Ganiyat Fawehinmi
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.

“This story shall the good man teach his son;
And the 9th of January shall never go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he from other tribe or faith,
This day shall make me his kinsman;

“And folks around the Niger now in their homes
Shall think themselves unlucky they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap when we speak
We that fought on Occupy Nigeria’s Day.”

Occupy Nigeria rally, Ojota TemiKOGBEFatCityAf...

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