In the Season of Bloodshed

Book title: The Poems Of Peace (In the season of Bloodshed)

Author: Shehu Sani

Pagination: 129

Printed by: Labari Communications NJ

Year: 2012

Reviewer: Ngozi Chilaka

“The goal of this piece is to promote peace and encourage people to stand up and speak out against violence”. This is the first sentence you will read, flipping through the first page of this mind blowing piece by Shehu Sani. Truly this sentence convinces one on ingenuity of this book and what it seeks to achieve in the lives of humans.

The Northern part of Nigeria is gripped by years of sectarian violence. A vicious, virulent and unceasing armed insurgency has added to the chaos and the woes. Every day comes with its record of assassinations, mass killings, indiscriminate bombings and gross human rights abuses. The raging violence continue to threaten the peace and unity of the country and shaking the foundation of its democratic institutions. This is why Shehu Sani has come up with this exceptional and amazing book to advocate peace.

The Author is a renowned civil rights activist, author, poet and playwright who has written extensively on political and religious conflicts in Nigeria and Africa in general. And his book is a sure evidence of his contributions to decrease violence as he is a campaigner for peace.

The introductory page of the book takes readers through the bits and pieces of what the book is about. Like it says, these collection of poems are not conventional sonnets that conform to the strict rules and stereotype of literature or academics. Rather, they are literary intervention to inspire the minds and reinforce the spirits of victims of violence, residents of flashpoints and ordinary people passionate about peace.

Those who strive for peace and justice for the oppressed should grab a copy of this book because the poem appeals to their minds and gives a sort of encouragement in the course. The book of poems also softens the hearts of warriors to embrace peace. The author says that readers will clearly decipher some of the poems as respectful of the dictum of injustice begotten violence and the rights and obligation of oppressed people to free themselves.

The poems of peace is a compilation of 95 poems that are prescribed for peace particularly for people of northern Nigeria for whom over three decades have been experiencing sectarian and ethnic violence between Christians and Muslims and now facing an atrocious insurgency. The author also included the usefulness of the poems to the people of Northern Ireland, Kashmir, Bosnia Herzegovina and some communities in Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan, Egypt, Middle East, Philippines.

Aside the a fore mentioned destinations, it is highly believed that the richness of these poem surpasses restrictions as Africa and the world at large surfers violence. The author should minimize the limitations of his work.

The fonts and graphic design of the book portrays the message. The colour of the book cover is white which is known for peace as the author advocates. Shehu Sani italicized his font to captivate readers, he also uses pictures to tell his story of violence that has destroyed lives. This is indeed a very fantastic way of relating a message as readers do not only get to imagine his flow of thoughts, they also visualize it through the pictures used.

Words cannot express Shehu Sani’s magnanimity as he takes his time to feel the pains of his people and tries to make a change in his society. It will not be surprising if he is given a Peace Advocate award or the Nobel peace prize for this inspirational work encouraging peace.

The Poems of Peace is recommended for all to read as it relates to every live one way or the other being victims of violence or as members of a society filled with violence.