First, some background: Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has ordered the arrest and detention of a journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi also known as Oba Akewi, over a poem read during a radio programme the minister considers critical of him. {Sahara Reporters, May 18, 2020.}

It is with great honour that I commit myself to identify how responsible, patriotic and committed Nigerian leaders are. They daily prove to be saviours and messiahs, sacrificing everything for the betterment of the nation.

To learn of true leadership, commitment, patriotism and veritable governance, it is important to observe the affairs and activities of our leaders.

It is in this light we have to identify one of the efforts made to maintain sanity in our nation as a way of learning from the best and most exemplary among us.

One major way to restore sanity is to expunge all truth revealing strategies. As art plays a major role in doing that, it is important to ARREST THE ART!

Our leaders are very sensitive and proactive and this is why one of them took the bold step to detain poetry: a medium of social criticism towards growth, awareness, and development. The wise man, seeing the prospect of poetry’s anti-sanity qualities, also detained its family members. This well-meaning leader says “Lai-Lai! Poetry is a threat” acted fast to serve his nation. Kudos to him!

Poetry is a threat indeed; it is capable of stirring change, but the time of change has passed. We are in the next level. Poetry is capable of giving voice to the deprived, and that is not what we ought to see in our nation. Sanity is endurance, silence, shuffering and shmiling, injustice and ineffectiveness, and this is what our leaders are committed to ensuring.

So let us thank our leader for arresting poetry; that resilient, recalcitrant noisemaker who thinks he can destabilise the seeming peace of the nation with his lines of rash truth.

To further ensure the safety of Nigerians, that safety that dwells in ignorance, this well-meaning leader, in order to arrest poetry, first detained his wife. Such a commitment should earn our precious leader a medal of honour for a job well done.

Nowhere is safer than our dear nation, no government official serves her citizens better than those of Nigeria.

So to be a good citizen, wherever you find poetry being aired or performed, be it on a stage or during a radio programme, arrest him! You would have served your fatherland well.

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