It is impossible to write Nigeria’s story without mentioning October 1, 1960, the date Africa’s most populous nation gained independence from Great Britain. Over the years, Nigerians celebrate this day with pride, and sometimes, nostalgia. Many stories and verses have been written about this significant milestone that symbolises freedom from the shackles of colonialism. Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Lawan Tanko Jimeta is not dubbed Nigeria’s Policeman-Peacekeeper- Poet for nothing. In addition to fighting crime, he is also a verse-maker with a collection of poems to his name. The police chief celebrates Nigeria at 60 with these poetic reflections:

I See This Country

With the eye of hope,
I see this country;
North, South East, and West,
I see my nation Nigeria
In a dance of ecstasy.
The howling wind stopped,
And I hear the calm silence of peace,
In this country!

With the eye of hope,
I see this country:
One people united in harmony,
I see violence whimper in shame,
Seismic steps of rancour seized.
No more conflict tremors,
No more fractured brotherhood,
In this country!

The weak are made strong,
And vile strength is shamed,
Water gushing from the rock;
I see love emojis everywhere.
No more walls of hatred,
And I watch mesmerised,
In this country!

I watch mesmerised!
Braggart boasts blasted to pieces.
Green, White, and Green in a dance,
Joyous Jubilee! We’re one Nigeria indeed!
Love emojis flying everywhere,
With the eye of hope,
I see this country.

On October First We Stand

Our fatherland is shackled
By bondage that must be broken.
We can’t have a future so uncertain,
The Giant of Africa must not search again
For October First, found sixty years ago.

Awo, Zik , and Sardauna fought a hard battle.
Freedom obtained from bloodied toil and sweat.
Green, White, and Green ensign of nationhood.
Our own dear homeland for us to rule.
Peace and unity tattooed into October First!

Now we have these goons of darkness,
Plundering pillaging pilferers of happiness,
Seeking to destroy what they can’t make.
River Niger and Benue cry, Give them no heed!
On October First, we stand!

Give them no heed when they preach hatred,
Our forebears fought with bloodied sweat on their brows,
This independence was bought with a price.
Give them no heed when they say, To your tents O Nigeria,
When they promise you clannish freedom.
Be resolute and beat your chest,
On October First, we stand!

Lawan Tanko Jimeta
Commissioner of police Bauchi State command.