B’A KU L’A D’ERE

(For Gani Fawehinmi)

He was a thorn in their flesh
The fishbone in their throat
The meddlesome interloper
Gbaranmi deleru,
Abelekun sunkun
In and out of jail
A threat to national security

Wrongly accused
Persecuted by his own
A relentless fighter
The cat with nine lives

The conscience of the nation
The scourge of irresponsible governments
A bothersome rabble-rouser
An incommodious troublemaker
The masses’ Messiah
The hope of the hopeless
The voice of the voiceless

But the day we gave his body to the earth
His spirit to the skies
And his soul to the great beyond;

Cities wept
Nations plunged into mourning
Cattle went head bowed
Birds refused to sing

Then he became;

A national hero
The face of outstanding bravery
The epitome of public spiritedness
The totem of justice
A detribalized statesman
The quintessence of conviction
The president we never had
Senior Advocate of the Masses
B’a ku l’a d’ere.

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