FOR SAFIYA HUSSAINI TUNGAR TUDU

The following two poems were written to express my reflections on the plight of Safiya Hussaini Tungar Tudu, the woman who was alleged to have committed adultery, and sentenced to die by stoning on October 12, 2001 under the Sharia law, in my country, Nigeria. She was later discharged and acquitted on March 25, 2002 by the Appeal Court on the grounds that the said law was applied retroactively.
Poem 1:  LIVE AND HELP LIVE

She owns the garden
In which there is a plant
On which grows the forbidden fruit

She religiously keeps her garden
And tends the plant
Which bears the forbidden fruit

A stone wall she builds
Around her garden;
The plunderers
To keep at bay,
As she keeps watch
Night and day.

Then, it happened!
Her guard she let down.

Plunderers came
and to the business of destruction
they got down.

Now the ultimate price
she has to pay alone
with nothing but stones

don’t kill Safiya
Not with stones
not even with anything

Let her live

Live and help live.

Poem 2:  STONES

Stones a solid foundation build
Stones a great monument build
when rightly employed.

Stones a new life brings
Stones a new hope give
when cast on fertile ground.

That’s constructive use.

But what do we have here?

People bent on casting
Stones of destruction!

Let the innocent
Cast the first stone.

Beware!

Stones against stones
a great fire kindles.

Let Safiya live!

She’s got the fruits
with lively and fruitful stones.

 

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