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By John Ewah

I could hear the screams as they drown
I could feel their pains and their frown
As they weep for their lives
As life replays and flashes before their waking eyes,

As they thought of their parents whose pains would know no bound,
As they thought of their kin whose tears would abound,
As they remember the friends they left behind,
And those they had promised of their kind,

Those whom they had hoped to place a call,
Of their safe arrival, not their fall
And pass the Good news in store
Aboard the Mediterranean shore.

Oh the reality that dawned for long
While the water occupy their lungs,
While they grasp for breath
Standing face to face with death,

Feeling for even a straw to hold
But could find none, only cold,
As life's memories kept flashing
And they could see the lights fading,

As they embraced the darkness
In the deep, thick blackness
And finally... their bodies surface
The 26, and the agony on their face.

I could imagine their determination
I peered and saw the desperation
While like troubadours they traversed lands and deserts,
Seeking greener pastures and desserts,

Cutting across countries in bands
And criss-crossing unknown lands
Playing into time and chance
Amidst the endless distance,

With little to eat or drink
As the desert heat into them did sink,
And are soon confronted by beings unknown
Whose goal was to trade them to lands unknown,

For silver pieces,
For rags and riches
Into modern slavery
Oh! what savagery!

I could hear their thoughts and see their vision
While they lay down in submission
To their masters' whip,
Beneath their masters' keep,

While the beasts torture and brutalise,
Their flesh weeps blood and agonise
As they try to make sense of the event
In solitude as one sent to convent'

They have felt worse and neglected,
This was not what they expected;
It was beyond their reckoning
Like a dream it seemed, a phantasy,

Maybe one resulting from fatigue and scorn
After the day's desert sojourn
But no, they were slaves!
Many died, for they are slaves!

What took them there?
What made them dare?
For some, it was the quest,
For some it was the greedy guest,

The quest to flee one's country at all cost,
Because their homeland is nothing but lost,
The greed to quick wealth and affluence,
To command respect and influence,

To make ends meet,
And send back home, meat
To face the deserts and the frost,
In whatever way and at whatever cost.

From the point they acquired the taste
For acquiring things
They set sail against
The advice of fellow beings
They grew tired in despair
More patience, they were unwilling to spare,

They blame the government for their woes
The government is all our 'foes'
But to risk their lives in protest
And then perish, for what interest?

Now their lives' beacons wane
For this is our societal bane,
The government care less,
Some say they are useless!

For their minds are deep
There is an evil there that does not sleep
For their greed and avarice
Masterminded this crisis,

That sent our young women and men
Deep into the lions den
And now the sun is setting
And our youths are falling.

I weep!
Edo Forum of Patriots Weep!

The end.

Say No to Slavery!
Say No to Human Trafficking!
Say No to Corrupt Leaders!
And our youths must find dignity in labour. There is much that can still be achieved here. Together we shall fight and defeat the forces that hold this nation at bay!

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