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STAND UP: A Social-Political Poem Burdened by Lingering Issues That Continue To Hinder Social Growth



By Activist Derrick Oritsematosan Agberen

The realization, that sociopolitical issues are deteriorating, was what informed this poem. The poet is burdened by these lingering issues that continue to militate social growth. Agberen, with this incentive piece, further underscores his status as a socially-committed individual who will continue to bemoan social rot and continue to front social revival.

“Stand up” is a poem that emits a revolutionary fervour. Agberen, having examined the dishonesty and hypocrisy, that characterize society, implores individuals to manifest honesty even in a society where dishonesty has become a norm. He encourages honesty when says, “Seek the truth/When you find it,/Hold on to it/With the hands of honesty” (35-38). The poet, who has always foregrounded his status as an advocate for social health, encourages citizens to stand up against oppression and repression. This establishes the fact that he is aware of the fright that dominates the thoughts of the individuals who occupy the social space. Agberen, who is an activist, admonishes them not to be cowed to berate maladministration and other social depravities that have been practised, comfortably, by leaders. He deploys a striking personification to portray the essence of bravery when he advises, “Fight for it/With the fist of bravery” (39-40). With the poem, Agberen hopes to dislodge cowardice from the minds of citizens, as he hopes to see them stand and wrest their rights from their oppressors.

Agberen seeks a society, devoid of oppression and hypocrisy. This is evident in his attempt to address contemporary issues. He seeks a socially well people. With “Stand up”, he hopes to furnish the minds of individuals with potent ideologies, as he continues to negotiate socioeconomic and sociopolitical recuperation.

The Poet reads;

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Falling down is how we grow
And of all essence, I must tow
Staying down is how we die
And if I must thrive, I must rise

Slow or pacy, I make moves
How I get there is my goal
Stumbling blocks, along the way
With the machete of persistence, I clear the way

Times have changed; pressures so high
Sustaining good standards, I must ply
Integrity with dignity, morals and values, I still maintain
Amidst all, shame loss of honour

We can make meanings if we are few
Standing up to what is right
With the legs of my conscience, I stand with the truth
This is the only way to peace and justice

This is the only life I have
With the palms of gladness, I shall hold on to it
I’m proud of it
For golds are scarce

Stand up for what you believe
Don’t be restricted
By the fence of fear
Fight and never give up
It is what makes a man

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth,
For truth is bold and strong
Speak the truth even if your voice shakes
Amidst of fears let your voice be heard

Standing out is good
But standing up is better
The one who speaks against social ills
Better, he is, than he whose mouths have been sealed
By the tape of fright

Seek the Truth
When you find it,
Hold on to it
With the hands of honesty
Fight for it
With the fist of bravery
Stand up for the truth
Even when you have been deserted

It only takes one voice at the right pitch
To start a change
It takes an entire people to make it happen

In the court of courage, silence is a crime
It opens doors for more wrongs
Seek justice
Like a gold miner
Love justice
Like a glutton for food
Millions are waiting for a lead
Take one step
And a hundred will follow

Stand up!
Stand up!
Stand up!

I’m Activist Derrick Oritsematosan Agberen,
Vice Chairman,Committee For the Defence of Human Rights(CDHR),Delta State Branch.


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