Six Thousand Naira


I couldn’t help noticing

The guards at the secretariat gate

Early to work and staying till very late

Sure this strain of their lives fleecing

Twenty-four hours continually flowing

Their lives throwing

Day after day, week after week

Their essence orbing out getting weak

Month after month, I wonder

What they slave for… I wonder


Have they no choice?

Is that the hidden point? They have no voice?


Have they no lives?

Have they no wives?

Are they simply animals of the wild?

Have they no child?

I wonder my thoughts going in different ways

The wondering fills my days


I had to ask to know their pay

To know what has seized their say

The heavy sums they have

Forsaken everything else in the world to their grave

In hunger and gloom

Leading slowly to a deadening doom


I found the revelation:

Six thousand naira full!

For all the work and that time? What consternation!

Six thousand for a month full!


No wonder they can’t rent a room

Keep a family and just eat gloom

They can barely feed

Their future eaten by vultures’ greed

They nurse their dreams and carry on

Living in the hope of every dawning sun


They are the casual and low

Those whose earnings grow

Dwarfishly. Who cares what becomes of them?

What should family and nation mean to them?


We hold the keys and power

And on their lives tower

We budget in trillions

And command the billions

Not for their sake

But the greediness of us bloating on the national cake.


Dr. Simon Terver Chieshe is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Benue State Branch. He lives and writes from Makurdi, Benue State.

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