Form and Content of Poetry of Restive Regions: A Critique of Select Collection of Poems from the Boko Haram and Bandits’ Occupied Northern States


    Modern African poetry is characterized by shifts in both its form and preoccupation. It began with a call for self-governance in an amateurish language. Then came the Soyinkas (the disillusioned poets), whose poems are crafted in a rather difficult style that suggests colonial hang-ups. A major turnaround came in the 1980s when the Osundares’, criticizing the Soyinkas for their untold difficulty, provided a staple, known as the Alter-Native tradition. It seeks to address African conditions using African allusions. They, unlike the largely Greco-Roman, Euro-centric and Biblical form of the Soyinkas, provide an enative alternative. Both Othman and Okpanachi, (then lecturers in the far North-Eastern Nigerian University of Maiduguri) belong to the latter and they write amid the terrific Boko Haram insurgency that threatened to extinct the region. This paper seeks to uncover their style in exposing some of the most horrific acts of both the Boko haram and the herdsmen’s unleashed terror on innocent souls. The paper, harping on the postcolonial discourses of the Palestinian Said, Caribbean Fanon, Indian Bhabha, and Nigerian Chinweizu, looks at the factors and motives behind the assailants’ missions as presented in the collections. It shows how they reveal the misgivings of the current African democracy as embedded in evil acts. These Poets seem to unravel the brazen incompetency of the modern African democratic governments, citing Nigeria as an example. The paper also offers a critique of some other collections of poems from northern Nigerian authors. From 1999 to the mid-2000, the region was ravaged by Boko Haram mayhem. And by 2015 to date, it has been faced with a series of terror activities that range from banditry, and cattle rustling to kidnapping. The region is absolved in fear of terror everywhere. Thus the paper also attempts to critique some of the accounts contained in the poems.

    Keywords: Form, Content, Postcolonialism, Banditry, Boko Haram


    author/Alhassan, A.S. & Hadiya, A.U.

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 15 February 2024 |  Article 11