Mohammed Fawehinmi: He Left This Shore Standing Up

Jiti Ogunye

Though for years he was wheelchair bound
Ramrod, his will stood indomitably unbound
His unbroken spirit fought, yielding no ground
Muhammed left on his feet, not sitting down.

Like his father of whom he was very fond
To the right path he wanted Nigeria to turn
He craved a land free of poverty and want
Muhammed left, his values agile and strong.

Unjust power, like a plague, he readily shunned
With the cheated he camped to right their wrong
With the oppressed he shared an inherited bond
Muhammed left here feeling very strong.

Marching at protest rallies, against all odds
Denouncing a political system so full of rot
Pummeling vile power with his clenched words
Muhammed left here, standing up.

With pedigreed courage, till the end he fought
Knees unbent, head unbowed, he held the torch
He didn’t trade his principles for lucres’ love
Muhammed left here standing straight and tall.

Born while dad was in prison over Obeya’s case
Grew up under him as he was many times detained
Shaped by that sacrifice to free us from bondage
Muhammed left us fighting the cruelty of the state.

He saw state agents come at night to hurl him away
He saw him pack his suitcase, ready for their raids
He saw mother wait for months for his release day
Muhammed couldn’t but fight terror of the state.

To the parting mountain Muhammed has gone
Thence he journeyed down the valley of no return
Where his earthly deeds like medals are hung
Until they speak in judgment as testifying tongue.

Indescribable, the pain of this eternal loss
Unforgettable, the agony of the tragedy before
While mourning, his accomplishments let’s recall
And take solace that he left us standing up.

Jiti Ogunye
14th August, 2021

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