UNICEF Organizes Poem For Peace In Maiduguri

By Bukar Bolori

To commemorate the 2023 World Poetry Day, UNICEF organised a poetry competition for children affected by conflict in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria. Here are the winning poems dedicated to peace in the region.

A place bestowed with peace.

Exalted as the home of peace.

A fortunate scope full of heroes

Surrounded by young men and women

As resilient as a rock.

Killing and maiming became a visual perspective

Freedom hijacked

Lives lost

Properties crumble, Our eyes are tired of weeping,

Our hearts are sick of woe,

Our days pass heavily

But the lamp of hope must glow

If life must be so full of care,

Then call us soon to thee,

Or give us strength enough to

Bear our load of misery – Abbas Bukar Lawan, 17, north-east Nigeria

From loud cheers to painful tearsFrom warm homes to cozy embraces

The wind blows cold, heavy with their fears

The skies clad and grey

Condensing into swords of rain

Cutting through our skin

Our blood boils with revenge

But what we need is change

The grey hair is withering away

Without any wish to stay.

When will we see the day?

When the wind will now be light

And the thick clouds would be bright

So the rays of peace will shine

With happiness and cheers

And the lives of the people who perished

Would now be relished Let’s raise up the cup of hope

And let the rivers flow

To grow the plant which they sow

And the fingers which chose the contrary of peace

Would live to reap what the sow – Fatima Husna Zaharadeen, 15, north-east Nigeria

I stand under the sun stranded

Thinking of the days gone by

When people stand in unity and in peace.

The grasses were then green

The wind danced through with ease

Peace was all that we could hear.

But today, today we hear gunshots

In place of the songs of the birds

Today we receive bullet shell showers

In place of the rainfall Peace torn to pieces.

The soft music of life is now the painful dirge of our soul. Only when the power of love

Overcomes the love of power

Then the world will know peace! – Khadija Hassan Elechi, 14, north-east Nigeria

Everyone needs free air

To breath freedom and peace

Let’s make the night bring a brighter day

For the owls to wander throughout the day Stones are not food to chew

For the poor man to relish with stew

The world is greenish on the other side

While here, it’s grey and yellowish

Bring the key that locks the door

When the bad eggs approach like owls

The light is powerful in its brightness

But the stars never hide in the darkness Peace beams the heart brightly

For the soul to inhale and be healed

Peace is water, air and food

That everyone needs to survive.

Peace is food to the soul

For the heart feeds on peace – Zainab Umar Alfa, 14, north-east Nigeria

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