Nigerians, and the world over, were blown away by the events of Friday May 29; the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In those "I solemnly swear" moments, many Nigerians were overwhelmed by the reality before their eyes; Buhari is the new President. The hopes of millions was restored.
But there was another moment, one that would have been a war cry if the words had not come out as gently as they did. It was the moment that Nigerians, in the words of Titilope Sonuga, declared, "We Are Ready".
The poem delivered by the Spoken Word slinger was well received in the way that all powerful poems are recieved. That feeling in your guts that tell you that each word carries with it the burden of a people, and truth.
The only sadness was that the poem was recited before the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari. He needed to hear those words as they arrived.
Douse yourself with these words and carry them in your heart everyday.
They said they heard a wargrowling in our belliessaid we had a taste for bloodthey imagined us clawing apartour countryhungry and greedy
They said the Giant of Africahad nursed her growing pains too longbones creaking and stretching to hold stillthe tremble of fault linesacross land massacross tribeacross religionacross languageThey said our voices were too small to be heardover the noise of bombsover the noise of pundits and prophetswith predictions about chaos and carnageoil gushing from our open wounds
They said we were not ready
But maybeit was something in the windmaybe we caught the scent of an old promiseand remembered somethingsomething familiar as freedoman unrelenting, irrational hopedemanding answers for generations waitingbodies hunched like question marksbeneath an angry sunOn that daywe dared even lightening to touch usdared the rain to wash away our resolveas we bloomed defiantacross the countrypurple thumbs sprung upto affirm something greater than our differencessomething too urgent to wait
From the cobwebs of every forgotten placewe camesaid we are herecount usremember our namesBruised and brokenthough we may bebut we know how to healthen heal againhow to reinvent in times of nothinghow to dance beneaththe weight of what threatens to break our backshow to pull laughter from our throatswhen wailing was expected
Children of Niger River current runningof salt water swamp and swelling plateauof rock might and iron willWe have not forgotten who we arewhat was birthed between the pushof waterfall and savannahwhat dreams were spokenwith 500 tonguesfrom hilltops and ocean bellywhat tireless hands built this placefrom soil and sweat
Baba, now that you are thereperched on the promise of tomorrowpropelled forwardby the hope of generations
Remember the forgottenthe left behindthe left in the darkthe ones who carry the hope of this countrylike a prayer
each individual pulseof the heartbeat of this landyearning for someone to believe in
Remember every square kilometerpulsing with the bloodlines of millionsand millions more before usbracing up the earth beneath our feetso that we can walk in this momentThis momentwhen the whole world will rememberhow the multitudes became oneto say:Yes,this country belongs to us,complex and flawedpushed to the brink then back againbut we are not ashamedwe are not afraid of the difficult journeychange is here and
We are ready